Santa Fe Public Schools keep mask mandate following community survey

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools announced March 21 as the target date for masking to become optional.

Superintendent Hiario "Larry" Chavez said the mask requirement will remain in place until March 21, with outdoor masking optional.

"More than 5,900 in our community responded to a survey issued at noon last Friday. More responses are in favor of either keeping masks for the remainder of the school year or until spring break compared to lifting the mask mandate immediately. We see the end of this pandemic in sight and believe that offering the option to mask will allow parents to act in their children’s best interests. This virus is unpredictable and we are erring on the side of caution,” said Chavez.

This decision comes after Gov. Lujan Grisham ended the mask mandate at the end of the 30-day legislative session.

“For those who continue to wear masks once we make the transition, we are completely supportive. We also support parents who want to end their child’s mask wearing. We see allowing parents to choose the best course forward is a very positive development,” said Chavez. “As always, we put the health and safety of students and staff at the forefront and will continue advocating for COVID vaccinations and following all required safety requirements for students and staff. ”