Local daycare center on mask mandate

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GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — Some daycare centers say they never stopped masking kids inside their facility.

After hearing Gov. Kathy Hochul’s announcement that daycares and mental health facilities are now required to mask up, Expressive Beginnings Child Care, which has locations around Monroe County, said masks never came off.

Officials from Expressive Beginnings say going back and forth with guidance has been frustrating, but keeping masks mandatory for everyone, has given them the ability to retain employees and keep the virus from entering their buildings.

Gov. Hochul says the number of child COVID-19 cases coming in daily is alarming.

"If you’re watching the national news, the scariest announcements coming out every single morning are the number of children now contracting COVID,” Hochul said.

Keeping masks up was never a question for Expressive Beginnings. So, for their kids three and up, this will be a piece of cake.

"Child care is a little tricky, especially centers with our group arraignments like we have children under the age of two in the class with kids over the age of two so just a little more specific on how it will look,” said Director Andrea McKenna.

McKenna said her facility decided to "remain conservative" through the back and forth masking guidance. So, anyone entering their facility the last few months has had to wear one.

"And I’m glad we did, at this point because it’s going to be much less of an impact now that this has gone through than it would have been had we loosened up a little bit,” McKenna said.

McKenna tells News10NBC that the fact that COVID guidance has had a trend of reversing so quickly, is what’s frustrating.

"We’ve had this announcement before, and four days later it reverted, so I’m just trying to take it slow and process the information,” McKenna said.

A vaccine for children under the age of 12 still isn’t expected for several months. As for vaccine eligible children, the governor was asked whether she was still considering mandatory vaccinations, and she said everything is still on the table, but hoped that wouldn’t be necessary.