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Hochul says state Department of Health can issue mask mandate for schools

While Kathy Hochul has not taken office yet, she did address a much-discussed topic regarding back to school: Mask mandates.

Lt. Gov. Hochul, who will soon become governor said that the New York State Department of Health has full-authority to issue mask mandates in schools.

To date, it’s something that the health department has stopped short on doing- instead telling local health departments and school districts in New York to make their own decisions.


“Mask mandates is something the department of health has the authority to call for. They have that authority now and I’ll assess whether or not we’ll know that’s been called for. I believe that we will need mask mandates for children to go back to schools and that will have to be universal, it will be statewide,” Hochul said.

She said that nearly 100% of unions and representatives from stakeholder groups said they support masking- and a statewide mandate.

However, there’s no word on when that announcement could happen.



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