A group of doctors from across the country, including one North Jersey pediatrician, has recommended that schools stop mandating masks.

NEW JERSEY — A North Jersey pediatrician signed on to a report calling for the end of mandatory mask mandates in day cares and schools in New Jersey.

A group of pediatricians from across the country suggested that mask mandates and other safety measures could be harming students in a report called children, COVID and the Urgency for Normal.

Kristen Walsh, a Mendham-based pediatrician, co-authored the article. She told NorthJersey.com that it was paradoxical that states with high levels of vaccination have the most strict rules for their children.

Walsh pointed out that the rates for illness in the new omicron version are decreasing.

The effects of the variant were not known by doctors when it was first discovered in the United States three month ago.

Variants such as Delta remain. Officials said that January saw the highest number of children hospitalized with COVID in New Jersey since the pandemic. Since Christmas, four children have also died from COVID.

New Jersey encourages parents to speak to their pediatrician to discuss the best safety measures for their child.

As of Tuesday, New Jersey’s 71 hospitals had reported 2,310 COVID-positive patients, with 284 in need of breathing assistance from ventilators. Although hospitalizations are up from last fall, they are sharply decreasing from holidays.

“Everywhere omicron is receding we don’t believe it makes sense for us to put additional restrictions on children when the variants of omicron are getting milder,” Walsh stated to NorthJersey.com. “Really, people are also focusing on masking. It’s just one aspect of it. Just think.
At this point, school should return to normal for everyone. Like 2019, normal. Stop the quarantine, stop silent lunches, and stop making children eat outside in the cold.

Some parents and doctors may not be comfortable with restrictions being eased.

The president of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Association of Pediatrics New Jersey stated that most New Jersey children are not vaccinated yet, especially those below 5 years old. She stated that her organization follows the advice of the doctors at the national CDC and is urging children to get vaccinated.

The states that have the highest COVID death rates (adjusted by population) are currently: Mississippi, Arizona and South Carolina with an average 65-157 COVID deaths each day.

New Jersey has recently relaxed some school restrictions to vaccinated students. This means that more students are now vaccinated.