NYS Governor Hochul held a press conference Feb. 9 with an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. She stated that the statewide infection rate is currently 3.67%, calling the continued decline an optimistic sign. Citing “tremendous progress after a long two years,” Gov. Hochul lifted the statewide mask-or-vaccine requirement for indoor businesses as of Thursday, Feb. 10; however, the statewide mask requirement is still in effect for schools and childcare centers.
The governor stated she will make an assessment on school protocols based on the latest metrics after the February break, including: cases per 100,000; percent positivity; hospital admissions; pediatric hospitalizations; vaccinations, and global trends, to determine next steps regarding universal masking in schools. Gov. Hochul said lifting the school mask mandate in March is a very strong possibility (which would follow the actions of neighboring states like Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey.)
In addition, the governor has asked school districts to send home COVID-19 test kits with K-12 students prior to the February break. Every Schuylerville student will receive a test kit (containing two tests) next week; it is suggested to families to test students before returning to school on Feb. 28 and three days after (March 3).
During the upcoming Feb. 14 Schuylerville Board of Education meeting, one of the agenda items will be a resolution to amend the district’s 2021-22 reopening plan. If the mask mandate from the state is lifted for schools, masks will be optional for all Schuylerville CSD students, faculty, staff, athletes and visitors regardless of vaccination status, both indoors and outdoors.
We recognize that masking is a sensitive issue for school communities everywhere, with differing views and opinions. We as a district will continue to adhere to the health and safety protocols put forth by the state, as we have done since the beginning of the pandemic. It is also our belief that we are in a better position to navigate COVID-19 today than we were two years ago at the onset. We feel encouraged by the latest decline in positivity rates and hope that trend continues.
As always, please reach out with any questions.
Dr. Ryan Sherman
Director of Pupil Personnel Services