Along with NYC public school employees required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Hochul and the NY Department of Health have announced further precautions to ensure the safety of students and faculty as they return to school.
During her first few days in office, Governor Kathy Hochul has made a detailed plan regarding safety protocols for the reopening of NYC schools this fall.
On August 24th, Governor Hochul “directed the New York State Department of Health to institute a universal mask requirement in all schools, public and private, as determined necessary at the discretion of the Commissioner,” stated a recent report.
Getting children back to school safely is one of my highest priorities.
To that end, I am immediately directing the Department of Health to institute universal masking for anyone entering our schools.
— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) August 24, 2021
Furthermore, Governor Hochul is taking steps to pursue potential vaccine mandates for all school personnel and an accessible Back to School COVID-19 testing program for staff and students.
“As Governor, my priorities are now the priorities of the people of New York – and right now that means fighting the Delta variant,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “My number one priority is getting children back to school and protecting the environment so they can learn safely.”
$335 million in federal funds have been allocated for these testing programs in the state and $251 million for NYC schools alone, totaling to $585 million in federal support. Additionally, more than 4.3 million child-sized clothed face masks, nearly 55 million non-surgical face masks, and 10 million adult-sized clothed face masks have been made available to New York state schools.
“Our highest priority is helping to ensure the health and safety of our students and educators as we work together to combat COVID-19. Since early July, COVID-19 cases in New York have risen 10-fold and 95 percent of sequenced positive cases were confirmed to be Delta variant,” said State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker.
These actions and mandates will continue to be monitored in order to help fight against the Delta variant and COVID-19 to ensure the safety of all those returning to schools.