Face masks not required at summer school statewide

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10/WIVB) — New York no longer requires students to wear face masks in summer school. The Department of Health (DOH) released new guidance suggesting they would treat school programs like summer camps—encouraging face masks without mandating them.

A spokesperson with the Department of Health (DOH) says the new guidance was included in three updates they sent to schools and educators on Wednesday. Districts also no longer need to report daily to the COVID-19 Report Card.

Michael Cornell—Superintendent of Hamburg Central Schools near Buffalo—says they’re not going to require students to mask up when summer school begins on Monday. “My initial analysis—and I’ve talked to my school attorney four to five times, and I’ve talked to the NYS Council of School Superintendents for to five times—and our collective analysis is that the update that we got Wednesday is designed to give school districts more flexibility in terms of the masking policy that we implement in our schools.”

The guidance sent by DOH to schools is available below:

  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.”
  2. Daily reporting to the  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.

These rules only apply to summer school. When it comes to the upcoming school year, New York officials plan to release guidance in the near future.

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