Mask restrictions lifted for vaccinated teachers


Graphic by Jason Stein ’22

Due to a policy change from the CT Department of Public Health, starting on Oct. 20, vaccinated high school and middle school teachers will have the option to remove their masks during class.

Staples High School teachers are no longer required to wear masks in the classroom, starting on Oct. 20. The CT Department of Public Health is permitting this option for all vaccinated teachers of grades seven-12, as long as the teacher is in the front of the room.  

While the Department of Health presented this option at the start of the year, superintendent Thomas Scarice was hesitant to lift mitigating measures in early September. However, a drop in COVID-19 cases over the course of six weeks has encouraged him to implement new measures.

Some teachers see this change as a sign of improvement and plan to take full advantage of the new policy. 

“It seems like progress to me,” English teacher Paul Zajac said. “I probably will take it off as long as I am in front of the class.”

Nevertheless, a number of teachers are concerned about how lifting mask restrictions will impact the safety of both students and adults. 

“I will not be taking my mask off in my classroom,” Science teacher Clare Woodman said. “Regardless of how many times I remind the students to properly wear the masks, they continue to not.” 

Science teacher Cecilia Duffy also does not see herself taking part in this new option. 

“I would hate to find out that I am harboring the next variant and walking around the room spewing it,” Duffy said.