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Erie County distributes masks and COVID-19 tests to schools

Masks for students and staff were supplied by the state, and tests can be used for staff who haven't provided COVID-19 vaccination status.
Credit: Erie County Department of Health

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) and Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Energy Services distributed masks and COVID-19 tests to schools on Wednesday.

Supplies were given to both public and private schools. The masks for students and staff were provided by the state.

"Governor Hochul announced that this resource would be provided to county health departments for use by schools, and our distribution team did an incredible job to coordinate distribution of about 339,000 face masks to more than 100 Erie County schools," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. "We are very glad to be able to support masking in schools as an effective preventive measure against COVID-19 with this resource."

Antigen test kits will be provided to schools on a limited basis for staff who cannot provide COVID-19 vaccination status. The state has requirements on routine testing of staff who have not provided proof of vaccination status. 

"While schools and staff are finding a more permanent way of routine testing for unvaccinated staff or starting their COVID-19 vaccine series, ECDOH purchased antigen test kits to make that transition easier for schools,” said Burstein. “Nearly 50 schools and school districts requested tests, and ECDOH is including two weeks’ worth of tests with their mask supply.”