VALHALLA N.Y. – A decision on the future of masking in the classroom in New York State could come as soon as next week.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul isn’t sugar coating anything when discussing the fight to keep students learning in person, which is why she says masking is an important aspect.
However, there is push underway to unmask kids in class across the Empire State. Earlier this month, the Governor lifted the indoor mask mandate however keep the school requirement in place.
“I’ve said this for a number of weeks now, we’re watching the numbers and what I also am doing aggressively is getting out testing kits,” Hochul continued. “We have over 20 million test kits that have already been distributed to schools.”
As students return to the classroom fresh from winter break on Monday, Governor Hochul is asking parents to get their kids tested for COVID-19. After that, she plans to look at the data and could make a decision on laxing requirements.
“We make decisions on the school mask and this will always be driven by the data this is in front of us continuing to reduce the number of cases, the number of hospitalizations, the vaccinations are going up as well,” Hochul explained.
An important step in lifting the mandate in school is getting youth vaccinated.
“We are, number one, among the large states for a fully vaccinated total population, we’re number one among large states for fully vaccinated twelve to 17-year-olds, something we’ve been pushing very intently,” said Hochul.
Hochul then addressed parents specifically, urging them to quote, “take the extra step.”
“They’re here, there’s plenty of vaccination sites, its easy to find, and if you can just take that extra step of getting your children vaccinated, or if they’re fully vaccinated, let them get boosted, the extra fortification that they have just in case we have to go through this again,” explained Hochul.
The Governor is doubling down on the availability of vaccination clinics, saying they are open for parents and they’re children, along with free covid testing statewide including in schools.
More information on where to get vaccinated is posted online at coronavirus.health.ny.gov.