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This December 2020 image provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows a counterfeit N95 surgical mask that was seized by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Federal investigators are probing a massive counterfeit N95 mask operation sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities, and government agencies and expect the number to rise significantly in coming weeks. The fake 3M masks are at best a copyright violations and at worst unsafe fakes that put unknowing health care workers at grave risk for coronavirus. And they are becoming increasingly difficult to spot. (ICE via AP)
This December 2020 image provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows a counterfeit N95 surgical mask that was seized by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Federal investigators are probing a massive counterfeit N95 mask operation sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities, and government agencies and expect the number to rise significantly in coming weeks. The fake 3M masks are at best a copyright violations and at worst unsafe fakes that put unknowing health care workers at grave risk for coronavirus. And they are becoming increasingly difficult to spot. (ICE via AP)
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BOSTON – State education officials will recommend, but not require, that students and staff wear masks and follow other COVID-era safety protocols during summer school programs, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Riley clarified over the weekend.

Some educators and district leaders were unsure whether the state mandated or simply encouraged indoor masking during summer programs amid confusion over how to interpret the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s guidance.

In a Saturday evening email to superintendents, Riley wrote that “there is some misunderstanding” that he hoped to resolve.

Students as well as adults who are not fully vaccinated are still required to cover their faces indoors through the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

During summer school programs, “masking indoors and maintaining other health and safety guidance is not required, but is encouraged,” Riley wrote on Saturday, underlining the final five words.

“The DESE summer guidance is in alignment with state guidance encouraging unvaccinated individuals to continue to mask,” Riley wrote. “The (Department of Public Health) mask advisory advises unvaccinated residents to continue wearing masks in indoor settings and when they can’t socially distance.”

All health and safety recommendations, including mask requirements and social distancing, will lift for the 2021-2022 school year starting in the fall.

Gov. Charlie Baker said on Friday that when students return in the fall, “School should look a lot more like it did before the pandemic.”

DESE published guidance on May 27 telling districts that it “will not issue separate guidance for summer school programs” and that it encourages schools to continue following health and safety guidelines in place for the spring.