MONTCLAIR, N.J. - Monday was a big day in New Jersey. For the first time in two years, New Jerseyans are not under a public health emergency and some kids don't need to wear masks to school.
The Montclair School District is one of several that has decided masking is a personal choice. That meant that kids at Edgemont Elementary greeted each other with a face not hidden behind a mask for the first time in two years.
Some of these kids have never been in a classroom with a teacher who did not have their face covered. For many, their entire grade school experience to this point had been defined by a virus, an internet connection, and a piece of cloth.
But other districts — including Paterson and Newark — are remaining masked. Officials there are choosing to wait to see if COVID-19 cases spike.
Masks could come back: during an active outbreak in the community or in a local school, after returning from quarantine, and for those students participating in "test to stay."