On Friday, Feb. 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they no longer recommend mask requirements for schools in communities with low to medium risk of COVID-19 spread.
On Sunday, Feb. 27, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the statewide mask requirement in schools will be lifted on Wednesday, March 2.
In her announcement, Gov. Hochul indicated that the new CDC guidance was a factor in altering the state mandate. Counties may still choose to impose mask mandates that could affect school districts.
The governor also indicated that rising transmission levels had the potential to trigger a return to a statewide mandate and said that a “Frequently Asked Questions” document would be released by the state later this week.
What does this mean for Arkport?
Starting Wednesday, March 2, students, school staff and visitors will no longer be required to wear face coverings or masks in our school building or on our school buses.
Mask wearing will continue to be optional. Disposable masks will be available for those who choose to wear them.
Respecting individual masking choices for both students and staff is important to our school community. Everyone’s preferences will be shown equal respect. Therefore, disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated. We will carefully monitor for pressure, bullying or other inappropriate interactions based on masking preferences.
We ask that parents/guardians communicate their preferences to their children. If a student arrives at school wearing or not wearing a mask, our teachers and staff will assume that this decision was made by the family.
As always, we continue to work with our local county health officials as COVID health and safety protocols evolve. Over the next two days, we will seek clarification about masking for athletes, testing of symptomatic individuals, quarantine rules and other COVID prevention strategies.
Thank you for your ongoing partnership and commitment to the health and safety of our students and staff.