After a series of contradictory announcements from the state, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo clarified on Monday that New York’s school districts can choose to lift the requirement that their students must wear masks outdoors. The Governor stated that the mask mandate will remain in place while students are still indoors. This change aligns New York State’s guidance on schools with CDC guidance on summer camps, where even unvaccinated students are not currently required to wear masks outdoors.
“The numbers show that the risk of transmission by children is extremely low, especially in this state, which has an extremely low positivity rate. We spoke with the CDC, and since they’re not going to change their guidance for several weeks in New York State, we’re going to modify the CDC guidance and allow schools to choose no mask outside for children,” said Cuomo. ” It’s very important that people understand the logic between these decisions and that they’re rational and based on the science and the data. We have a disconnect right now between the school guidance and the camp guidance, and it’s important to rectify it because if people don’t think the rules are logical, then they’re not going to want to follow the rules.”
On May 24, Governor Cuomo announced that based on the current COVID trajectory, all New York State schools will reopen for full in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year beginning in September.