Many LI districts plan to wait for CDC guidance before ditching mask mandate

Dr. Howard Zucker sent a letter to the CDC Friday saying the state plans to remove its school mask mandate on Monday.

News 12 Staff

Jun 5, 2021, 6:15 PM

Updated 1,042 days ago

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Many districts on Long Island plan to require masks in schools until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention either approves or denies new guidance put forth by the New York State health commissioner.
News 12 reported that Dr. Howard Zucker sent a letter to the CDC Friday saying the state plans to remove its school mask mandate on Monday.
In the letter, Zucker outlines what he says are inconsistencies in CDC policy between camps and schools. He says starting Monday masks for unvaccinated individuals will be strongly encouraged, but not required.
“The current CDC guidance for K-12 schools recommends a requirement for ‘consistent and correct use of well-fitting face masks with proper filtration by all students, teachers, and staff,’ Zucker says in the letter. “There is no distinction between mask wearing for indoor versus outdoor activities (except for a vague reference to sports) and it does not address vaccinated individuals.”
He says starting Monday that masks for unvaccinated individuals will be “strongly encouraged” but not required and that masks will not be needed for fully vaccinated individuals or for people outdoors.
News 12’s Marissa Sarback spoke with Nassau Superintendent Council President Bill Heidenreich who said there was a need for a “huge conversation” about the possible change before the end of the school year.
“We have a lot of things coming up. We have proms. We have graduation,” he says. “…We want to have thoughtful conversations. This time crunch is making that a little bit more difficult but not impossible.”
So far, most of the districts News 12 reached out to are planning to wait on the CDC's guidance, but a handful are implementing the new state Department of Health guidelines. 


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