State: All students, faculty, and staff must continue wearing mask in schools and on buses
The mandate that all students, faculty, and staff must wear a face covering in the school and on school buses is still in effect, according to the New York state Education Department.
The confusion began after officials from the state Department of Health sent notice to the Centers For Disease Control saying they intended to lift the statewide mask requirement for schools today.
The state health commissioner said while they would strongly encourage mask use in schools, it would no longer be required even for students and teachers who were not vaccinated. And they asked if there was any science or data that shows why New York shouldn't move forward with the plan and to let them know as soon as possible.
Then late Sunday, state Education Department officials said that since there had been no response from the CDC, the policy for schools requiring students and staff to wear masks would stay in place.
Parents all over the Hudson Valley received a flurry of letters from their school districts over the weekend on what to do. The bottom line is that everyone must still wear masks in schools.
This was the letter sent from the Education Department to all school superintendents:
As of September 1, 2020, school districts were permitted to reopen, under Executive Order 202.60, “subject to adherence to Department of Health issued guidance and directives.” These have included the submission of reopening plans to address, among other things, distancing and health requirements.
SED has been in communication with Executive staff regarding the attached letter from Dr. Howard Zucker, New York State Commissioner of Health. According to conversations with Executive staff, the intent of this letter was to obtain a response from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding differing standards for summer camps and schools; it has not changed any existing arrangements. Therefore, schools should continue to operate under their existing procedures until further notice. No changes have been, or will be, made by the Executive until after Monday June 7 to afford the CDC an opportunity to respond to the letter.
News 12 has reached out to the Department of Health, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office, and the Department of Education and are awaiting a response.
The New York City Department of Education already stated late Friday that city schools would still be requiring masks.