In the latest roundup of news stories on COVID developments affecting New Jersey schools, various media are reporting that only a few school districts are still offering virtual-only instruction, but the governor, at this time, is saying that masks may be required in school for the youngest students in the fall.

Details follow:

In-Person Instruction Increasing  Only a few public schools continue to offer remote-only instruction, as New Jersey enters its final month of the school year and in-person learning continues to climb to new highs, according to a June 2 article published by NJ.com.

As of June 1, state figures show 361 school districts were in hybrid instruction, seven were remote and 402 were fully in-person — the tenth week in a row the number of in-person districts increased. Forty-one districts have different educational formats for individual schools, according to NJ.com.

Masks in the Fall ‘Likely’ for Students Under 12  Mask requirements and other COVID-19 safety protocols will likely stay in place for students under 12 this fall, Gov. Phil Murphy said on May 22,  offering a glimpse of guidance for the 2021-2022 school year expected to be released later in June.

“We will have masking in schools in the fall as a result of that,” Murphy said in response to a question on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that relayed some parents’ concerns for safety for pre-teen students, according to a May 25 article in Chalkbeat.org.

Drug companies are currently testing if the COVID-19 vaccine is effective for children under 12. Earlier this month, children ages 12-15 became eligible to take the vaccine. Last month, vaccines were approved for those over 16, according to Chalkbeat.org.

Number of Cases at 14-Month Low  On June 1, the state reported another 137 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the lowest number since the first weeks of its outbreak in March 2020 — and an additional seven deaths as the state prepares to lift some of its last remaining COVID-19 restrictions, according to a June 1 article published by NJ.com.

More than 4 million people who live, work, or study in the state have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at New Jersey sites, NJ.com reported. The state has set a goal of having 70% of New Jersey’s 6.9 million adults vaccinated by the end of this month. About 56% have been fully vaccinated so far. More than 232,000 children between the ages of 12 and 17 have also been vaccinated in New Jersey.

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