Educators and health officials respond to school mask mandate


WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – Governor Kathy Hochul admits it won’t be popular with everyone, but stresses that she believes requiring masks in schools is the right thing to do.

Local educators and health officials with whom we spoke speak in favor of the universal mandate.

“This will just be another layer of protection to help them not get COVID and pass it on to other people,” said Faith Lustik, Jefferson County health planner. “We want to reduce the number of children who are in quarantine when there is someone positive because obviously we still have positive cases in our community and that number is increasing, so we want to reduce that number and keep children at school. “

Some school officials are also satisfied. So far, former Governor Andrew Cuomo has told districts they are on their own to set COVID rules for the next school year.

“I think it’s helpful to have a statewide standard rather than the 700 decisions we had to make in each of the individual school districts across the state,” said Stephen Todd, Jefferson Superintendent. -Lewis BOCES.

Todd knows some families are against masking in schools, but he says it’s the key to bringing students back in person 5 days a week

“Let’s all recognize that we want the best for our children. We all want our children to be safe and, you know, working together to make our schools as safe as possible, ”he said.

Centers for Disease Control guidelines recommend that students maintain social distancing, 3 feet while masks are worn

More detailed guidelines are expected to be released by the state’s health department later this week.

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