As you may have heard from numerous media reports over the weekend, the CDC issued new guidance on Friday that loosened its recommendations for masking on school buses and in schools that are located in areas that have low and medium community levels of COVID-19. This is welcome news from the CDC and a hopeful step to a return to normalcy.
On Saturday, February 26, WSWHE BOCES and 31 superintendents of schools in Washington, Saratoga, Warren, Hamilton and Essex counties wrote a letter to urge the Governor and the Department of Health to adopt the CDC’s new recommendations immediately.
The Governor announced today, Sunday, that the Department of Health will adopt the CDC’s new recommendations for school districts in New York State, effective Wednesday March 2, 2022, pending final determination of county health officials where schools are located that the county has low or medium community levels of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, we anticipate being able to relax the masking requirement as our school buildings, unless otherwise directed. That being said, on Monday and Tuesday, the same masking rules that were in effect immediately prior to the February break remain in place until we have the final word from our county health partners.
On March 2, when we anticipate that masking will become optional, some people will choose to continue masking in environments where it is not required. They will be supported. It is crucial that we respect each other’s decisions and continue to be cautious about close contact. We will be in contact again with you in the next few days with updates.
As a reminder, we encourage your family to use the rapid tests provided before February break to help keep our school community as healthy as possible. The Department of Health recommends testing once after traveling and before returning to school, and then again 3-5 days later. Additional rapid test kits are available at the district office for pickup between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
I want to thank you again for your patience, understanding, and support as we have navigated through this pandemic. This has been a long, difficult journey and I am so proud of how well our students, families, and staff have worked together throughout it all.
Paul Jenkins, Superintendent