Students, faculty and staff at all grade levels must wear masks in school, NYSDOH orders

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Students, faculty and staff at all grade levels will be required to wear masks in schools this year after the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) filed an emergency regulation.

NYSDOH Commissioner Howard Zucker wrote a letter of determination after the emergency regulation was filed.

Zucker’s letter reads, "After careful review and consideration of CDC recommendations for face coverings/masks in school settings, I hereby adopt such recommendations, imposing them as requirements, where applicable, until this determination is modified or rescinded. Accordingly, universal masking of teachers, staff, students, and visitors to P-12 schools over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering/mask and regardless of vaccination status, is required until this determination is modified or rescinded. Such requirement is subject to applicable CDC-recommended exceptions."

NYSDOH Commissioner Howard Zucker letter of determination by News10NBC on Scribd

A spokesperson from the NYSDOH sent News10NBC the following statement:

"The Department has filed an emergency regulation requiring all students, faculty and staff of all public and private schools (P-12) in New York State to wear masks inside school buildings. Public and private schools/districts across the State have been notified by the Department."

Earlier this week, during her first press conference as governor, Kathy Hochul announced that she was planning on requiring anyone entering a school to wear a mask.

She said there would be guidance coming from the NYSDOH later this week. That press conference was on Tuesday.

During the same press conference, she announced that she would look into requiring vaccination or COVID-19 testing for school staff, "at least for now". As of Friday night, there have not been any updates on that.

Hochul said getting children back to school was one of her top three priorities, as well as increasing the vaccination rate and starting the booster rollout.