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Amid mask and vaccine mandates, Gov. Lamont tours Newington school

Newington has already logged their first COVID-19 case of the new year, but there will be fewer disruptions to the learning environment this year.

NEWINGTON, Conn. — The new school year is filled with both excitement about seeing friends again and anxiety about a surging Delta variant.

"I’m excited for these boys and girls to have what I hope is a very normal school year," said Tracy Modon, a first grade teacher in Newington.

It's back to class and back with masks.

"The kids have always been great with the masks," said Modon.

Governor Ned Lamont stopped by Anna Reynolds Elementary School in Newington on Monday. It was their 3rd day of the new year.

"I’m excited to see my friends," said Michael, a first grade student.

Modon told FOX61 there’s no substitute for in-person learning.

"Just being together, the social piece for them is huge."

Newington has already logged their first COVID-19 case of the new year, but there will be fewer disruptions to the learning environment this year.

RELATED: Connecticut parents petition for distance learning option as back to school approaches

The CDC said fully vaccinated individuals who've been exposed and are wearing masks don’t need to quarantine unless they are experiencing symptoms.

"I’m really hoping for that under 12 vaccine to get approved because that will really open up the doer to minimal quarantining if at all," said Newington Schools Superintendent Dr. Maureen Brummett.

Last year was one without the Delta variant, but it was also a year without vaccines. Now they are a requirement for all teachers and staff.

"There’s the flexibility that if you don’t want to get a vaccine there’s the weekly testing," said Brummett.

For Gov. Lamont, this school visit was a much different reception than the last one, when parent anger over his mask mandate boiled over in Cheshire.

"I understand it’s a pain for some parents. I don’t hear much complaints from the kids. I find that kids are smiling underneath their masks and are back in the classroom," said Gov. Lamont.

RELATED: Anti-mask protesters disrupt Lamont roundtable on new school year

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