As parents across Western New York get their kids ready for back to school, they might have to add an item to the back-to-school shopping lists. Masks.

According to WGRZ, soon-to-be New York State Governor Kathy Hochul said during a tour of schools in New York City that she believes that children in schools in New York State will have to wear a mask when they attend in-person learning at schools.

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The Governor also stated that the New York State Health Department does have the right and the authority to issue the mask mandate for public schools in the State.

Yesterday, the Buffalo Public School board voted to have children return to in-person learning 5 days a week. That aligns with the plans of many schools in Western New York when school returns after Labor Day. The school board also stated that children in classrooms must be 3 feet apart.

Lt. Governor Hochul will officially take over as Governor of New York State on Monday, August 23rd, and said that reviewing the need for a mask mandate for schools will be one of the first items on her agenda. She is set to take over for current Governor Andrew Cuomo who resigned last week amid allegations of sexual harassment from former employees.

So far the state is letting schools come up with their own COVID-19 policies stating that current CDC recommendations are that children should wear masks while in school.

Currently, every county in Western New York is in the "Sustanical Risk" category for COVID-19 positive cases according to CDC guidelines.

 

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