State Teachers Union: Counties Need To Mandate Mask Use In All Public Schools

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ALBANY — Saying that New York State has failed to respond, the New York State United Teachers union is calling on county governments to order the use of masks in all schools within the county.

In what they call absence of statewide action, union leaders are turning their attention to local governments by urging counties to mandate mask use in all schools.

“While some school districts are doing the right thing and requiring masks at all times, we still are seeing others who refuse to take this basic step to protect the health of students, staff and families,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “Orange County is taking a lead role in helping address the reservations that exist regarding reopening school buildings. We believe other county leaders should follow suit and address the concerns we’re still hearing from educators and parents.”

Last week, NYSUT sent a letter to state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker imploring the department to make the wearing of masks at all times indoors during the school day mandatory, except for appropriate break periods and in cases of medical accommodation.

The union cited recent guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics that recommends the universal use of face coverings, as well as a recent change in Pennsylvania guidance to make the use of masks mandatory at all times during the school day.


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