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Around 200 districts in New York aren’t requiring masks for school, prompting concerns from parents, teachers, and advocates

Are masking policies intense enough as students head back to school? That has been a major question on the minds of teachers, support staff, and parents as back to school season kicks into gear.

When students go back to school in the next 10 days – it will be a major test for New York. Will Coronavirus cases stay low? Or will there be spikes, like those seen in pockets of college campuses, as students were welcomed back there over the last week?

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Schools are strongly encouraged to have everyone wear a mask, but it isn’t an outright requirement.

“Having this little bit of squishyness leaving it open to intrepretation, I think it’s hard for parents to know what’s the safest thing, and what’s not,” one parent told Spectrum News.

About 200 school districts out of the 700 in the state do not require masks to be worn, NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said.

“We’ve had local leaders reach out to us and say they’re trying to get it in their district,” he added. “But because it’s only strongly encouraged by the Department of Health, they’re not able to get that accomplished in their local school district.”

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Governor Andrew Cuomo says that New Yorkers should wear masks when they cannot social distance in public. Most businesses are required for employees to wear masks, and can even turn away customers if they don’t wear one. This is something that local governments have worked on enforcing in recent weeks.

“The local school districts, they don’t need me to say in New York City or Buffalo or Long Island where they need to wear a mask,” Cuomo said. “A school district can decide on a mask policy specific to that application.”

For now, it’s a wait-and-see approach though.

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