Mask mandate ends March 2 for schools statewide, including Herkimer CSD

Masks will not be required at schools statewide including the Herkimer CSD and other districts in the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES region effective Wednesday, March 2.

State Gov. Kathy Hochul made the announcement today, Sunday, Feb. 27, on the statewide end of the school mask mandate,in line with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state trends in COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization rates.

The new CDC guidance released on Friday, Feb. 25, recommended that masks not be required in schools in communities designated as low to medium risk for COVID-19. Hochul announced the end of the mask mandate for all New York schools and that counties with higher risk can decide to impose their own school mask requirements.

Herkimer BOCES and schools in the region are in communities that fall under low to medium risk, and the school mask mandate in the Herkimer BOCES region will be ending effective Wednesday, March 2.

Hochul announced that additional guidance for schools will be finalized between now and Wednesday, March 2. School officials in the Herkimer BOCES region will be communicating with state officials and local health officials on questions about additional guidance such as whether masks will still be required in certain school locations such as nurses’ offices.

Although masks are no longer required at schools, school officials respect the choice for anyone to wear a mask in all settings in recognition of the potential risk particularly for those with young children in their homes or immunocompromised individuals.

In addition to the Herkimer CSD, the other school districts in the Herkimer BOCES region are Central Valley, Dolgeville, Frankfort-Schuyler, Little Falls, Mount Markham, Owen D. Young, Poland, Richfield Springs and West Canada Valley.

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