BUFFALO, N.Y. — An emergency regulation filed by New York State will require all students, faculty and staff to wear masks inside school buildings.
Jill Montag, director of communications for the state's Department of Health, confirmed the emergency regulation Friday night to 2 On Your Side.
"The Department has filed an emergency regulation requiring all students, faculty and staff of all public and private schools (P-12) in New York State to wear masks inside school buildings. Public and private schools/districts across the State have been notified by the Department."
The guidance cited the fact that children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.
"Certain settings and areas (e.g., healthcare, schools, and public places located in CDC-identified areas of substantial or high community transmission) pose increased challenges and urgency for controlling the spread of this disease because of the vulnerable populations served, the disproportionate percentage of individuals (e.g., children) who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, and/or the substantial to high levels of community transmission," the state said.
On Tuesday, her first day in office, Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state must get children back in school, calling for teachers and staff to be vaccinated, with a weekly testing option for now, and for universal masking.
The New York State Department of Education on August 12 issued some guidance for schools on how to safely reopen.
The guide was meant to provide schools with a resource to safely start the school year as they develop their own plans. The guidance is based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Both agencies suggest universal indoor masking in K-12 schools regardless of vaccination status and community transmission levels.