Camden public school students to mask up for 2 weeks following winter break

Students and staff in the Camden City School District will wear masks for two weeks after they return from holiday break to limit the spread of COVID and other seasonal illnesses. 

In a letter to families, the district said the decision was made to be "proactive" and "vigilant" amid an increase in cases of COVID, flu and RSV – popularly known as the tripledemic. 

The mask mandate will begin when students and staff return to school on Jan. 17 and continue for the equivalent of two weeks. 

Camden isn't the only public school district in our area that reinstating a mask mandate post-holiday break. Students and staff in Philadelphia public schools will also mask up for two weeks.

Health officials around the country have been warning about an unusually early and severe flu season. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a telebriefing earlier this month that levels of medical visits with respiratory symptoms were high or very high in 47 jurisdictions in late November.

The FDA warned last month that there is also an "acute shortage" of amoxicillin, an oral antibiotic that is often prescribed to children to treat bacterial respiratory infections. Some pharmacies have since put a limit on children's pain relief medication due to what they say is a combination of increased demand and supply chain issues.