As the first day of school nears, cases of COVID-19 among children in New Jersey are rising: The number of children hospitalized with the disease jumped from two in early July to 14 last week. Gov. Phil Murphy mandated everyone returning to school, staff and students alike, must wear masks to stem COVID-19’s spread, which is now driven by the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus.
Intense pockets of opposition to the mask mandate remain. A handful of school districts have sent Murphy letters, asking him to rescind the mask order. And some parents have sued to block the mandate.