Governor Kathy Hochul hit the ground running today by stressing safely reopening schools amid the pandemic is a top priority for her administration.

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To that end, the Governor outlined plans for a mask mandate and a vaccine requirement.

“I’m ready to get to work as your governor to solve the big problems that this state faces. Your priorities are my priorities, and right now, that means fighting the delta variant,” she said. “None of us want a rerun of last year’s horrors with COVID-19, therefore we will take proactive steps to prevent that from happening.”

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According to NEWS 4 (WIVB-TV) Hochul directed the state Department of Health to implement a universal masking policy for anyone entering school buildings.

She also directed the state to work to institute a plan requiring the COVID-19 vaccine or weekly testing for school personnel across New York State.

“To accomplish this in New York, we need partnerships with all levels of government and I’m working now on getting this done,” Hochul added.

New York City previously announced its public school teachers and staff need to be at least partially vaccinated by Sept. 27. There is no testing option for NYC Schools.

Additionally, New York will launch a widely available back-to-school COVID testing program for students and staff, according to the governor.

Hochul was quick to add that moe “concise and consistent” school-related policies would be announced later this week.

“Priority No. 1: We get children back to school and protect the environment so they can learn and everyone is safe,” she said.

I've noticed when I'm with my grandkids that masks never seemed to be an issue with them.  They were quick to put them on in situations that they thought warranted it without even being instructed to do so.

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