The Lewiston School Committee on Monday voted 7-2 to make masking optional in the city's schools no later than March 14. Credit: Courtesy of Lewiston Public Schools

The mask mandate in Lewiston schools is about to come to an end.

Lewiston public school students may have the option to not wear a mask as early as next Monday, but no later than March 14.

The School Committee voted 7-2 to approve the change on Monday.

The Sun Journal reported if Androscoggin County has a low or medium transmission rate by Friday, Lewiston Superintendent Jake Langlais can push up the date to March 7, although the county is currently seeing a high rate of virus transmission.

Langlais proposed a shift to optional masking in response to a communitywide survey that showed nearly 73 percent of people in favor of lifting the mandate.

Langlais said the goal is to keep the district in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines not only for masking but for pool testing as well.

Pool testing will continue for now but may stop soon. Langlais said it would remove a huge burden from staff and students.

Whether the mandate lifts sooner or later, masks will still be required at in-person staff meetings and at competitions for spectators.