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Mask rules for students, staff indoors changing across NYS

Hamburg Superintendent Dr. Michael Cornell says he and other superintendents just got new guidance from the state, giving them the choice of making masks optional.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Under New York State rules, masks have been required for students and staff indoors, but that's now changing.

Hamburg Superintendent Dr. Michael Cornell says he and other superintendents just got new guidance from the state, giving them the choice of making masks optional indoors, which he is doing for his district.

2 On Your Side reached out to the New York State Department of Health for more information, they provided the email below that was sent to superintendents.

We are writing to share three updates relevant to 2021 summer schools.

  1. Given current low rates of COVID-19 transmission, schools/district may decide to implement revised masking policies consistent with those available in the archived INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR CHILD CARE, DAY CAMP, AND OVERNIGHT CAMP PROGRAMS DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY (available here).
  2. Daily reporting to the COVID-19 Report Card is no longer required.
  3. Summer schools in NYS may follow either the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools Through Phased Prevention (available here) or the current NYS INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION AT PRE-K TO GRADE 12 SCHOOLS DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY (available here).

The above information applies to the 2021 summer session only and additional information will be shared regarding the 2021-2022 school year soon. These decisions, which should reflect local sentiment, may be made by the school superintendent or local board. There is no requirement for additional public meetings.

Buffalo Public Schools superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash says masks will continue to be required in his district this summer. So what about the fall?

"That will be fluid and at this point. Dr. Kuo, our medical director, has said we make that the last requirement to go if the time comes that he recommends that. Right now he does not recommend it," Dr. Cash said.

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