Martha’s Vineyard public school students, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks when schools open in two weeks, following a mandate issued Wednesday by state education commissioner Jeffrey Riley for all commonwealth schools.

The state mandate followed a 9-1 vote by the Massachusetts board of elementary and secondary education to require face coverings in K-12 public schools, regardless of vaccine status. The order runs at least through Oct. 1.

Exceptions will be allowed for those who cannot wear a mask due to behavioral or medical reasons. Face coverings are are recommended but not required for students under the age of five.

Masks can be removed when eating, drinking or during mask breaks, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

Vineyard school leaders said Wednesday the mandate falls in line with what was already planned on the Island, where a mask mandate was already in place.

At recent meetings Island school committees approved an amendment allowing masks to be removed outdoors.

“I’m glad the state made the decision to safely keep students in school as much as possible,” regional high school principal Sara Dingledy said in a brief phone call with the Gazette. “I’m glad we made that decision a while back. It made planning for reopening easier.”

Vineyard schools superintendent Matt D’Andrea told the Gazette the state’s Oct. 1 date provides a helpful benchmark.

He added that school administrators will continue to meet on a weekly basis with their health and safety committee.

“We will listen to what they have to say,” Mr. D’Andrea said.

The state mandate allows schools with vaccination rates greater than 80 per cent among students and staff to stop requiring masks for vaccinated individuals after Oct. 1.

But Ms. Dingledy said she expected the Island schools to operate as one, not on an individual school basis. Mr. D’Andrea agreed but added that the pandemic “is a very fluid situation.”