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NY Updating Mask Guidance For K-12 Schools, Camps

Free masks and hand sanitizer were also given to people
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state is updating its mask guidance for K through 12 schools and summer camps starting Monday. In a letter to the CDC Friday, State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says in both settings mask use will be strongly encouraged, but not required indoors for students, campers, teachers or staff not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Masks will not be required outdoors, but those not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask in certain high-risk circumstances.

Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks.

Individual schools and camps can implement stricter standards. Zucker is asking the CDC if there is any data that would contradict New York’s approach.

Responding to the announcement Friday, the New York State United Teachers union emailed a statement: 

“Announcing on a Friday afternoon that masks will now be optional for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in schools starting Monday — with only three weeks remaining in the school year — is whiplash-inducing news. Short of any additional guidance from the state or the CDC before Monday, we implore school districts to closely evaluate local conditions and connect with their educators and parents to decide the best course of action for protecting their school community.” 

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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