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Hochul Lowers Indoor Mask Regulations; School Mandates Pending

On Wednesday, Kathy Hochul, the governor of New York State, lifted the prohibition on masks in public places, including restaurants, gyms, and stores.  The regulation on December 13 was in response to a “winter surge” number of illnesses caused by the coronavirus. Will lift it on Thursday. On February 21, it would have officially run out of time with The Island Now.

The elimination of the restriction that Hochul enacted does not apply to indoor facilities by school districts. On Tuesday, she said that masks would be necessary until February 28. She said that in the meanwhile, kids would receive home testing kits.

  • Hochul stated, “Keeping business open has always been the first concern. They want to utilize this occasion to thank those parents, teachers, and managers who came today to share.
  • Hochul claims she has been in constant contact with school officials around the state to discuss removing the mandate.

Robert S. Schneider, the executive director of the New York School Boards Association, remarked that the governor, like school board members, must consider a range of considerations before deciding what is best for our children. The author argues that if the governor were more receptive to educators’ views, it would help everyone make better decisions.

  • Before Hochul could remove the necessity for holding meetings inside, the executive of Nassau County, Bruce Blakeman, petitioned the governor to do away with the rule.
  • With a statement, Blakeman urged, “Let kids be kids again.” That’s the recommendation I’d make to Governor Hochul. She has one week to reverse the school’s mask policy, restore students’ right to personal autonomy, and restore childhood.
  • Statewide Democratic leaders criticized Republican Governor Blakeman after he issued an executive order in mid-January providing school districts the choice of enforcing mask restrictions or not.

The state must submit its material for an appeal of a lawsuit that a group made of 14 parents, and authorities have stated that the need for masks in schools may continue to be in effect until at least March 2. According to the lawsuit, Hochul’s mask requirement violated many laws and regulations.

Some Long Island school districts made masks optional on January 25 after Justice Thomas Rademaker of the State Supreme Court in Nassau County on January 24 found that the restrictions were unlawful. Appellate Judge Robert J. Miller ordered the school districts that had made mask wear voluntary to return to Hochul’s guidelines the following day.


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