EO 251 Mask Mandate

Executive Order 251 Mandates the Wearing of Masks by Staff, Students, and Visitors while in the School Building


In accordance with Governor Murphy's Executive Order No. 251, effective August 9, 2021 all public, private, and parochial preschool programs and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools (collectively “school districts”), must maintain a policy regarding mandatory use of face masks by staff, students, and visitors in the indoor portion of the school district premises, except in the following circumstances:

a. When doing so would inhibit the individual’s health, such as when the individual is exposed to extreme heat indoors (may require a physician's note);

b. When the individual has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face masks without assistance;

c. When a student’s documented medical condition or disability, as reflected in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Educational Plan pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, precludes use of a face mask;

d. When the individual is under two (2) years of age;

e. When the individual is engaged in activity that cannot physically be performed while wearing a mask, such as eating or drinking, or playing a musical instrument that would be obstructed by a face mask;

f. When the individual is engaged in high-intensity aerobic or anaerobic activity;

g. When a student is participating in high-intensity physical activities during a physical education class in a well-ventilated location and able to maintain a physical distance of six feet from al other individuals; or

h. When wearing a face mask creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

Violation of “any order, rule or regulation adopted by the Governor” constitutes, per App.A.9-49, a disorderly persons offense which is subject to 6 months imprisonment or up to $1,000 fine or both. Per App.A.9-50, anyone who knowingly aids or abets another in the violation of an Executive Order under the Disaster Control Act may also be found to be a disorderly person and punishable in the same manner.