Parents preparing for students return back to school after winter break

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester area parents are planning for their kids to charge back to school armed and ready against coronavirus.

March 7 is the day the state-wide mask mandate for schools may be lifted by Governor Kathy Hochul. News10NBC spoke to a few parents across Monroe County. Some have test kits in hand ready to go, some others say they won’t test unless they have to.

"We have test kits readily available in our cupboard that has been given to us by our school district,” said Kellijoe Kaufman, a parent from Newark.

For Kellijoe Kaufman’s family in Newark, test kits and masks in and out of school are a must.

"Every single day, without fail they will wear a mask and they will be tested before they go back to school,” Kaufman said.

Recently, Governor Kathy Hochul lifted the mask mandates for businesses and public spaces. She’s been adamant about keeping masks in schools. Before students went on winter break, Hochul said she would revisit the idea of lifting school masking mandates, but that depends on several factors, including vaccination rates, the positivity rate and hospitalizations. Kaufman says she wants masks to stay a little longer.

"I don’t want them to go away, I work in a middle school, I don’t want my kids getting sick or other students getting sick, I just think we’re jumping the gun on this," Kaufman said.

Another parent tells News10NBC that she won’t be testing her kids unless someone in their household tests positive or shows symptoms, and won’t make her children wear a mask unless it’s mandatory but is willing to comply with requests from their school district. As for masking, Hochul could make a final decision on that, as early as the first week of March.