Kids in grades K-12 will be required to wear masks in school, Murphy to announce Friday

New Jersey students in kindergarten through 12th grade will be required to wear masks at the start of the school year, Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to announce Friday morning.

Murphy repeatedly has said the state would hold off on a decision until the school year was closer — saying it’s a mandate that can be implemented overnight — and that he would leave the decision up to local districts.

Apparently, he had a change of heart due to the rising COVID-19 case levels in the state.

New Jersey officials reported 1,345 confirmed cases Thursday. And, while that is substantially lower than other parts of the country, it is the highest case count since the state reported 1,564 cases May 6. For most of the time since that date, the case count hovered around 500.

Murphy is expected to release more specifics on the guidance Friday. He is scheduled to be at Memorial Elementary School in East Brunswick for a “major public health announcement” at 1:15 p.m.

The news of the mask mandate has been widely reported on many websites, but NJ Advance Media is believed to have reported the news first.