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New York to ditch indoor mask mandates for students, staff at schools and summer camps

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New York State is planning to relax mask guidelines for schools and summer camps.

Posted: Jun 4, 2021 3:34 PM
Updated: Jun 4, 2021 4:56 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (UPDATED) – New York State is planning to relax mask guidelines for schools and summer camps, according to a letter state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday.

In the letter, Zucker cites the vague guidance between schools and youth camps, and the need for clear rules since many camps happen on school grounds.

Because of this, the state health department doesn’t plan to require students, campers or staff to wear masks indoors, even if they’re not vaccinated. However, each school or camp can choose to make stricter rules for their individual location.

The state plans to implement the following guidelines for both:

  • Indoors, mask use will be strongly encouraged but not required for students, campers, and staff/teachers/counselors who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Outdoors, masks are not required; students, campers, and staff/teachers/counselors who are not fully vaccinated are “encouraged” to wear a mask in certain higher-risk circumstances.
  • Both indoors and outdoors, students, campers, and staff who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks.
  • Schools and camps may choose to implement stricter standards.

According to Zucker’s letter, this guidance will be effective Monday, June 7.

The New York State United Teachers union President Andy Pallotta issued the following statement regarding the decision:

“Announcing on a Friday afternoon that masks will now be optional for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in schools starting Monday — with only three weeks remaining in the school year — is whiplash-inducing news. Short of any additional guidance from the state or the CDC before Monday, we implore school districts to closely evaluate local conditions and connect with their educators and parents to decide the best course of action for protecting their school community.”

You can read the full letter below:

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2109677

Reported Deaths: 53558
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28056310454
Queens2772449955
Suffolk2010083400
Nassau1836243175
Bronx1834576588
New York1382444499
Westchester1296572290
Erie895721806
Richmond749601841
Monroe689591110
Orange48308843
Rockland46936963
Onondaga38928677
Dutchess29470445
Albany24696356
Oneida22614514
Niagara20033372
Broome18619366
Saratoga15362168
Ulster13907257
Schenectady13200205
Rensselaer11228142
Putnam1060592
Chautauqua8951145
Chemung7759136
Oswego762292
Ontario740593
Steuben6952144
Sullivan667276
St. Lawrence663796
Cayuga633792
Jefferson613168
Wayne578270
Cattaraugus572091
Genesee5435124
Herkimer5186109
Clinton483533
Madison456289
Livingston452060
Fulton442191
Tompkins434652
Montgomery4254126
Columbia4064104
Cortland392562
Tioga382963
Warren365857
Wyoming358153
Allegany355587
Chenango349876
Otsego346147
Greene340379
Washington316155
Orleans311883
Lewis280836
Franklin256312
Delaware237938
Seneca201156
Schoharie169217
Essex159326
Yates117826
Schuyler107414
Hamilton3132
Unassigned9211
Out of NY0249
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