Upstate colleges put pressure on students to ditch cloth masks, opt for medical-grade masks instead

As COVID-19 cases surge -- some upstate colleges are putting pressure on students to ditch their cloth masks -- and opt for more protective medical-grade masks instead.
Rather than banning cloth masks, some Hudson Valley schools are already "highly recommending" students, faculty and staff to replace cloth masks with medical-grade ones.
Hudson Valley schools updating their mask recommendations include Pace University, Sarah Lawernce College, Vassar College and Marist College.
This is just a recommendation -- not a requirement at these schools.
But many schools say cloth masks are no longer sufficient to protect against the more contagious Omicron variant.
Some upstate schools like Cornell University and Union College in Schenectady are taking the recommendations to ditch the cloth masks -- by banning it them.
David Harris, the president of Union College says, "Remember this? The cloth masks we passed out a while ago? Time to say goodbye! It's time for surgical masks, KN95s -- unless you're wearing the cloth over the surgical."
The problem with upgrading masks is the higher price tag it comes with - something not all students can afford.
But there are schools in the region like Marist that say it bought more supplies of all masks that are available by request.