Vermont officials will recommend at the end of the month that schools with a student vaccination rate of 80% or higher need not require masks

Vermont officials will recommend at the end of the month that schools with a student vaccination rate of 80% or higher need not require masks, Gov. Phil Scott announced Tuesday.  “Schools should know this is only the first step. In the very near future if all goes to plan, we intend to recommend lifting the mask requirement recommendation altogether,” Scott said. Several other states have recently announced plans to lift mask requirements in schools as COVID-19′s omicron surge subsides. Vermont Education Secretary Dan French said “Although we remain optimistic about the trends we’re seeing in Vermont, we’re not ready to jump to a recommendation of removal of masks all together, but I expect that recommendation will be coming at some point.” Schools should be removing unnecessary local mitigation practices now, such as not allowing students to talk during lunch, or requiring students to wear masks during outdoor recess or to play in small groups or pods on the playground, he said.