New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is expected to lift the mask mandate in state schools for both students and employees in March.
According to the New York Times, the mandate in New Jersey schools will end in the second week of March, approximately two years after the virus outbreak began.
It is the first time that New Jersey has relaxed its school mask mandate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating a shift in how the state views the virus.
On Sunday, the state recorded approximately 1,600 new cases, a significant decrease from the peak of 33,000 cases one month ago.
The debate over wearing masks in school has been a contentious issue. Several districts proposed their own mask rules last summer, prior to the start of the new school year, challenging the governor’s blanket mandates, including his home district of Middletown.