Massapequa school officials announce no masks required for start of school
The Massapequa School Board announced Wednesday that it will not require masks for students and staff when the school year begins.
Parents erupted in cheers after the school superintendent made the announcement.
The newly announced guidelines say masks will be recommended but not required indoors. However, they will still be required on school buses.
School officials also say there will be no more remote instruction.
Other changes include the removal of Plexiglas barriers from desks and no more health checks.
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Superintendent Lucille Iconis says they reached the decision after looking at data from their summer programs -- where most students were unmasked -- and there was minimal COVID-19 spread.
"For that six-week period with the delta variant in the equation we had nine confirmed cases that includes students and staff," says Iconis.
But the district's decision may be overruled when Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul takes office next week.
"I believe that we will need mask mandates for children to go back to schools," says Hochul. "And that will have to be universal, it will have to be statewide."
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Several Long Island districts have already said they plan to require masks, including Plainview-Old Bethpage, Garden City, Riverhead and Mattituck.
Massapequa officials say there will be contact tracing and 10-day quarantine implemented when needed, as well as cleaning and sanitizing protocols.