It's now official across Massachusetts. Starting Tuesday, September 7, right after Labor Day, teachers, staff, and children age 5 and older who are enrolled in state-licensed daycare, after-school, and out-of-school programs will be required to wear masks indoors.

WWLP/22 News Springfield reports that the Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a policy consistent with the general schools' policy approved last week.

The policy applies to all adults regardless of vaccination status and has no expiration date. Also, children between the ages of 2 to 4 who can safely and appropriately wear and remove face masks, will be strongly encouraged to wear one.

There are some exemptions, of course. Students will not be required to wear masks while sleeping or eating, or if they have certain physical or behavioral conditions. In a statement on Tuesday, Governor Baker said he agrees with the decision:

I think they’re viewing that at this point in time as an appropriate measure as, you know, school starts and as people start incorporating more of those early ed programs into their daily lives, I think it makes sense.

The decision came from trends in COVID transmission and wanting consistency for children who attend schools where masks are already required. Also, although only ages 5 and older are required to wear masks, all children ages 2 and older have to wear masks when it comes to child care transportation.

For more on the story, please visit WWLP's website here.

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