Massapequa BOE votes to end mask mandate once statewide mandate expires next month
The Massapequa Board of Education has voted to end the mask mandate for its schools.
Students and staff will now be able to choose to wear a mask on school property when the statewide mandate on masks expires next month.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has issued an executive order allowing schools to make their own decisions regarding masks.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, however, has said that the state government trumps county orders and that the state Education Department, which controls school funding, also has a say.
Gov. Kathy Hochul was asked about the Massapequa vote during Friday's COVID-19 briefing.
"I find it phenomenally disappointing that people are willing to pay politics with children's lives. And you heard what I said, schools were the safer place for children - not when they went home. They got sick when they went home during the holidays. Schools are safe, and why are they safe? People have been wearing masks, kids have been wearing masks, and they're adapting to it. It's not something we're going to keep much longer, we know we don't have to - but this has kept children safe in a learning environment. And I fully expect school boards and other leaders to recognize how important this has been, and why our children are safe - we're seeing fewer hospitalized, fewer sicker because they've been able to be in an environment like a school where they have been enforcing this."
She says her understanding is that Massapequa will not enforce a mask mandate once the state mandate lapses, but that is something the state expects. "I'm not sure what they're trying to say," she said.