Long Island districts reinstate mask mandate to comply with Gov. Cuomo's guidance

Three Long Island school districts reversed their decisions and reinstated the mask mandate for indoors starting Tuesday.

News 12 Staff

Jun 7, 2021, 11:12 AM

Updated 1,140 days ago

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District after district was forced to reinstate mask mandates Monday night amid confusion over a letter from the state that was issued last week.
New guidelines for students and staff outdoors and indoors were supposed to go into effect Monday, according to a letter Friday from the New York state health commissioner. That was as long as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not object. But the state Education Department told districts on Sunday that nothing had changed and the mask mandate was still in effect.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that New York schools will no longer be mandated to require students to wear masks outdoors, but the indoor mandate remains.
Sachem Central School District, Massapequa School District and Patchogue-Medford schools all had dropped the indoor mask mandate for Monday and then quickly had to reinstate later in the day.
Members of the Northport-East Northport School Board blasted Cuomo at an emergency meeting Monday night over mask guidelines they say were confusing and contradictory.
At a news conference Monday when a reporter asked the governor about conflicting information from multiple state agencies, he said that he had never said anything would take effect on Monday.
"We never said on Monday anything goes into effect," says Cuomo. "I said I would let you know on Monday."
However, the last line of the letter from the state health commissioner says, "We plan to make this guidance effective on Monday, June 7."
The Northport-East Northport district plans to abide by the state guidelines.
Northport-East Northport says children should be able to remove their masks more often if they need to. The board did agree to send a letter to the governor to ask that schools go mask free in September.


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