Governor Cuomo announced in a livestream broadcast today that students in public schools will continue to be required to wear masks indoors, but will not be required to wear masks outdoors on school grounds. Local school districts can decide on outside policies for masking. As you know, the Board of Education and I are strong advocates for parental choice in this and every matter concerning the health and safety of our children. Therefore, mask wearing outdoors on Commack school grounds will be voluntary effective immediately and at the sole discretion of individual parents.
Recognizing that temperatures are forecast to be in the 80s and 90s this week, teachers and staff have been asked to adjust mask breaks accordingly, especially when in non-airconditioned rooms – we must pay close attention to the physical signals we receive from students and staff during the coming hot days and adjust as needed. Please let your children know that if they need a mask break before the teacher gives one in the classroom, they need only ask the teacher and a mask break will be given.
Thank you for your continued support during these confusing days!
Below please find the release from the Governor’s office:
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES SCHOOL DISTRICTS CAN ALLOW STUDENTS TO REMOVE MASKS OUTDOORS
Guidance on Mask Use Indoors Remains in Place
Change Aligns Summer Camp Guidance with School Guidance
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that school districts can choose to lift the requirement that their students must wear masks outdoors. Guidance on mask use indoors remains in place. This change aligns New York State's guidance on schools with CDC guidance on summer camps, where even unvaccinated students are not currently required to wear masks outdoors.
"The numbers show that the risk of transmission by children is extremely low, especially in this state, which has an extremely low positivity rate. We spoke with the CDC, and since they're not going to change their guidance for several weeks in New York State, we're going to modify the CDC guidance and allow schools to choose no mask outside for children," Governor Cuomo said. "We'll leave that up to the local school district and we spoke to the CDC, which has no objection. It's very important that people understand the logic between these decisions and that they're rational and based on the science and the data. We have a disconnect right now between the school guidance and the camp guidance, and it's important to rectify it because if people don't think the rules are logical, then they're not going to want to follow the rules."
On May 24, Governor Cuomo announced that based on the current COVID trajectory, all New York State schools will reopen for full in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year beginning in September.