Late Friday, New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker issued a letter informing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that the state would ease the mask requirements in schools as early as Monday, June 7 unless the CDC advises the state before Monday it should not take this action.
This, according to the letter, would mean the following:
• Indoors, mask use will be strongly encouraged but not required for students and staff who are not fully vaccinated.
• Outdoors, masks are not required; students and staff 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 may choose to implement stricter standards.
As of Sunday afternoon, Unadilla Valley CSD and other public schools had received no definitive guidance from the state. For now, Unadilla Valley CSD’s mask policy will remain in effect, as our administrative team reviews any such guidance that may come from the state. Students and staff should continue to follow mask wearing protocols when classes resume tomorrow and until further notice. District mask policies include requirements for mask use on school buses, in classrooms, in school hallways and on playgrounds. Students regularly take mask breaks through the school day, which include during times of physical exertion. Especially during these warmer days, teachers and staff often allow students to take masks breaks within appropriate social distancing when inside the school building.
Any adjustments to our mask policy will be made in the best interest of safety for our students, staff and community and will involve consultation with both county and state health officials.