Scott admin: End school masking if 80% of students vaccinated

The Scott administration on Tuesday said it is recommending that schools with 80% vaccination rates unmask students in attempt to return “back to normal.”

Speaking at the Gov. Phil Scott’s weekly press conference, officials said the universal mask recommendation for Vermont schools will not be extended past Feb. 28. As a result, school districts and independent schools at that time may choose to lift mask requirements for schools where the student vaccination rate is over 80%.

Wikimedia Commons

MASK FREE STUDENTS?: Vermont is recommending, but not requiring, that schools continue with masking requirements unless the student population is 80% vaccinated.

Secretary of Education Dan French noted that neighboring states are moving in a direction away from required masking in schools.

“There’s been a lot of conversation about masks in schools on the national and regional levels,” French said. “Notably, Massachusetts and Connecticut announced that they are not going to be requiring masks in schools as of Feb. 28, and then recently Rhode Island has announced an effective date of March 4.”

“Our schools have had an incredibly difficult year, and this is an important step to getting them back to normal,” French said.

Asked by True North if recommending unmasking for only highly vaccinated schools might cause friction between nurses, staff and families, the governor said he does not think so, and added that financial rewards will be offered.

“I think it’s a personal decision. But the more who are vaccinated, if we can get to a certain level, they would receive some sort of financial award to be spent on something the student body would determine that they wanted to advocate for. So it’s not in the interest of the nurses or administrators, it’s really about the kids,” he said.

Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine added that the current emergency status of the new COVID vaccines for youth does not mean that there weren’t any safety studies performed.

Asked if individuals with natural immunity to the virus should be treated the same as those having received vaccines, Levine replied, “The combination of what you’re calling natural immunity with superimposed vaccine-mediated immunity is still considered to provide the best protection going into the future — so a super-immunity, if you will.”

French said while the administration is not ready to follow other states with a universal unmasking policy for schools, he added that “we are increasingly confident that at some point masking can be removed altogether.”

The governor said he was on a conference call Tuesday with Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that many governors are planning to move forward without mandates.

“It was noted by a fellow governor that the CDC is falling behind from where the public actually is,” Scott said. “And she stressed that personal responsibility and individual decision making is key for decisions like wearing masks, which we’ve been talking about here for quite some time.”

At numerous points during the conference, officials reminded reporters that these are recommended policies, and that ultimately any school district is free to choose its own masking policy regardless of vaccination rate.

“When we do make that recommendation it will be just that — a recommendation,” French said regarding the 80% vaccination threshold for taking masks off. “Local school districts can choose to implement it or not.”

French spent time talking about communities that have been overdoing their COVID regulations on the local level, and potentially causing more harm than good.

“For example, I’ve heard about schools not letting kids talk during lunch, or schools that require students to wear masks during outdoor recess or playing in small groups or pods on the playground,” he said. “These measures are unnecessary and they send the wrong message to students that our schools are not safe from the virus.”

French also talked about the negative impacts of some COVID regulations.

“We need to get our students and our schools back to normal as soon as possible,” he said. “This means we need to allow our students to do normal things in schools like talking at lunch, playing on the playground with all their friends, not just those who are in their immediate class or grade. This also means that they need to be able to see the faces of their classmates by not being required to wear a mask.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

24 thoughts on “Scott admin: End school masking if 80% of students vaccinated

  1. Mandates are the #1 problem. The governor will remove one mandate only if he can make a new one—remove the mask mandate but insert the vaccine mandate to replace it. Mandates are orders, not laws and they are allowed under emergency authorization. Tyranny 101: Create the illusion of a frightening emergency and then issue direct orders or mandates, circumventing the Constitution. It’s way too easy to do this.

  2. These people are out of their minds. kids are not at risk and SHOULD NOT BE MASKED UP. They are not following science. They are ignoring VAERS. These people need to be voted out of office immediately. This will never end until we the people end it. They work for us!!!

  3. These people are out of their minds. kids are not at risk and SHOULD NOT BE MASKED UP. They are not following science. They are ignoring VAERS. These people need to be voted out of office immediately. This will never end until we the people end it. They work for us!!!

  4. “This also means that they need to be able to see the faces of their classmates [except the unvaccinated ones] by not being required to wear a mask.” What could possibly go wrong here?

  5. Get your kids out of this abusive slave grooming system that says if you don’t comply, you don’t get to sit at the table with the big kids.
    Those who are complicit in child abuse need to go.
    The kill shots are just that and if nothing else, compromise FOR LIFE, the immune systems of children.
    You cannot rehabilitate a brain that has gone oxygen deprived for two years, let along 8 hours. Do your research, people.
    Our leaders and representatives still pushing this Satanic, abusive, coercive, bullying, deadly shots and masking are working for Satan.
    Take you children out of school now before any more damage is done.
    Create a Private Membership Association school…then you get to call the shots.

  6. The evils of Dem/Prog-centralized command/control seems to have gotten hold of normally rational people.

    If I were Scott, I would order no more wearing of useless blue-rag masks in schools and anywhere else in Vermont, because the CDC has proclaimed them to be totally useless.


    Masks have to be at least N95 or better, PER CDC, and per my doctor at the VA.


  7. Why does it so often seem that government wants to divide and pit the citizens against each other?
    “My son has to wear a useless mask because your selfish daughter won’t get vaccinated.”
    “My daughter has to get a uncertain vaccine just so your selfish son doesn’t have to wear a mask.”

    • Allens,

      The CDC conducted tests on blue-rag masks, and declared them useless.

      They are mostly feel-good gestures.

      Masks have to be at least N95 quality, and need to be replaced after a few days, per CDC

      Why is the VT Media not publicizing the CDC tests?


    Humorous video above of two marines testing face masks using bear spray.

    Would you walk into a tent of bear spray with just a standard Covid-19 face mask? Me neither. It’s true that the guy tested has a beard, so … shave the beard and then the mask will be effective against bear spray? I don’t think so.

    We can grant that masks are doing a little bit. But let’s weigh that against the huge abuse to our children. This isn’t right.

  9. How NON scientific can you get??? The vax’ed shed and infect by aerosol just as much as
    a non vax’ed would, and at a higher rate as there are more vax’ed then not… and for those
    adults that say children get use to wearing the complacency mask I say check out this
    video of Las Vegas kid when told NO MORE MASKS…
    (via redvoicemedia)


    That’s the real question. I understand his background is in business and not any technology involving science or math. I still believe he’s a good guy at heart. BUT…he is apparently surrounded by “advisers” that are political scientists and they are pandering to the misguided popular beliefs about the situation.

    Masks are less than worthless, and the math and science indicate they are responsible for INCREASED spread of the viruses. This is clearly evident in the case numbers collected by the state of Vermont.

    Vaccinations, although a valuable tool against the alpha, beta and delta variants for the at risk population, are WORTHLESS against the new variants. Thankfully, the new variants are not much worse than the common cold. This is also clearly evident in the numbers collected by the state.


    • Not to mention, that nationwide about 400 minors have died from the earlier strains of the virus, but at least 3000 (Three Thousand) have died from the vaccine. THERE IS MORE RISK IN MINORS TAKING THE VACCINE THAN RISK FROM ANY OF THE VIRUSES. God, I wish I could scream loud enough for these idiots to hear…but of course the media follows the politician so they can get paid, and not the science and math.

    • “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

      ― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

  11. That he can force a drug that is not safe upon children for no scientific reason is a display about how cold his heart truly is.

    And he’s heading the ticket of the VTGOP.

    What does it take to get booted out of the club? He’s been outed as a pimp for the new world order…..TAKE AWAY THE R……HE DOESNT DESERVE IT.

  12. How about following FLORIDA’S Mask Rules? NO MASKS! The 12 FL Schools that continued to require them are being withheld 200 MILLION in funds! VT politicians/school boards are clearly a part of the NWO/WEF agenda. Not to mention, eyes are a significant source via infection, and we know the mask doesn’t protect particles via nose/ why bother? It’s control and compliance generated.

  13. Lets see; vaccinated people can get and transmit C-19. Kids rarely get it. Masks can only filter at best to 3 microns, and the C-19 virus particles is smaller then 1 micron, and since they do not fit seal the face, they can’t even reliably filter to 3 microns. — But hey lets pander to the stupid who are afraid because someone said to be afraid. Where does a world run by the most stupid end up?

    • A world run by the most stupid ends up with more “stupids” following them right over the cliff.

  14. I am confused by Scott’s statements encouraging lifting the mask mandate for schools based on vaccination rate- while also stating that he does not believe it is appropriate to mandate an EUA
    (emergency use authorization) vaccine for school children. Has he forgotten that there is not an FDA approved vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 available in the United States?
    But then, a whole lot of the statements made by elected officials and bureaucrats on this virus don’t add up.

    • He’s talking like a path person, he must be on the spectrum.

      That’s ok the Trump train has plenty of spce on its round up of criminals. Perhaps we’ll have multiple cars for VERMONT.

      Whooo whoooo….

      They only know political science, power, money, censorship. By 2028 I suspect there will be much cleaned up in our country.mlet out the petty drug dealers, we’ve got a lot of politicians heading to the concrete motel.

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