Rockland County schools could face hefty fines for not complying with coronavirus restrictions
Hudson Valley schools could face thousands of dollars in fines if they fail to follow restrictions related to the coronavirus.
Schools, child care programs and school transportation companies may be fined up to $2,000 for every violation every day if they don't ensure that students are wearing face coverings.
The Rockland County Health Commissioner issued the order with a primary focus on school buses. Officials say they have received multiple complaints about students not wearing their masks on buses.
Residents hope the new rule with help fix the problem on school transportation.
"I think it's pretty fair," says Rebecca Joseph, of Spring Valley. "I think it's to everyone's advantage that we all wear masks."
Rockland County officials say it is the chaperone's responsibility to ensure that every child over the age of 2 is wearing an appropriate face covering over their nose and mouth, except during scheduled mask breaks when students are allowed to take them off at a safe distance away from each other.
The health commissioner's order also says that any faculty, staff or visitor not wearing a face covering may be issued a fine.
"We entrust people to care for our kids properly and that is a fair expectation," says Rockland County Executive Ed Day. "What this health commissioner's order actually does, it takes the responsibility off the child, of course, properly, and places it on the caregiver."
Rockland County officials say they are asking anyone who notices a violation to contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 845-238-1856.
The state also announced that schools not complying with restrictions can face withholding of funds.