Update on School Masking Requirements

Update on School Masking Requirements
Comsewogue School District

The following is from the Council of School Superintendents.

Update on School Masking Requirements

A short time ago, the State Education Department sent the following message to superintendents and other school stakeholders:

Dear Colleagues,

As of September 1, 2020, school districts were permitted to reopen, under Executive Order 202.60, “subject to adherence to Department of Health issued guidance and directives.” These have included the submission of reopening plans to address, among other things, distancing and health requirements.

SED has been in communication with Executive staff regarding the attached letter from Dr. Howard Zucker, New York State Commissioner of Health. According to conversations with Executive staff, the intent of this letter was to obtain a response from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding differing standards for summer camps and schools; it has not changed any existing arrangements. Therefore, schools should continue to operate under their existing procedures until further notice. No changes have been, or will be, made by the Executive until after Monday June 7 to afford the CDC an opportunity to respond to the letter.

Here is a link to the letter by State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to the CDC.

The SED message is consistent with explanations that we and other groups have received through our own contacts with the Governor's Office--that, with no response yet from the CDC, the requirements of existing guidance remain in effect. We understand that the Governor's Office was apprised of the content of the SED message before it was sent.

Since our email message yesterday, we have had multiple conversations and email exchanges with the Governor's staff and colleagues with other associations. We also spoke with State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa, who made the decision to issue the message shared above.