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The below replaces an earlier version.

COURT HOUSE - Gov. Phil Murphy shifted the responsibility for decisions about mask use indoors at schools to the individual school districts. 

Citing the potential health hazards of masks in schools impacted by extreme heat, Murphy gave school districts the authority to have students and staff treat masks as optional. Warning them to “use your responsibility wisely” and urging decisions should not be made based on politics, Murphy surprised education officials across the state. 

In Cape May County, some districts already responded. Middle Township School District, as well as Lower Cape May Regional and Lower Township Elementary school districts, posted Facebook announcements, making mask-wearing optional, beginning June 9. 

Some form of statement is likely to follow Murphy’s decision in just about all the state’s school districts. 

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