Rhode Island’s governor announced the state will be lifting its indoor mask mandates and proof of vaccination protocols.
The new rules go into place on Friday, Gov. Dan McKee said during a briefing Wednesday afternoon.
“With our numbers continuing to drop, and having the second-highest vaccination rate in the country, we can safely make this shift, which will also put us in line with other New England states,” he said.
The governor said if the state’s general assembly extends his emergency executive authority for another 45 days, as currently proposed, he would extend the executive order requiring masking in schools until March 4.
“After that time, school masking policies would be decided by individual school districts, not the state,” McKee said.
McKee said the March 4 date would give school districts time to plan for a transition and allow parents the opportunity to talk to their local leaders.
“I also want Rhode Islanders to know that none of these decisions were made in a vacuum,” McKee said. “Our team feels we can safely and confidently take this next step based on decreasing Covid numbers and increasing vaccination rates.”