Requirement for Masks in Schools and for Transportation has not changed

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Members of the OESJ CSD Community,

On Friday, June 4, 2021, the New York State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard A. Zucker,  issued a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) which indicated that, absent information from the CDC to the contrary, effective Monday, June 7, 2021, New York State public schools may lift the mask-wearing requirement for students, staff, and visitors on
school property.  As of today’s date, the CDC has not responded to this letter.

Since the issuance of this letter, the New York State Education Department issued the following clarification:

 “SED has been in communication with Executive staff regarding the letter from Dr. Howard Zucker, New York State Commissioner of Health.  According to conversations with Executive staff, the intent of this letter was to obtain a response from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding differing standards for summer camps and schools; it has not changed any existing arrangements.  Therefore, schools should continue to operate under their existing procedures until further notice.  No changes have been or will be, made by the Executive until after Monday, June 7 to afford the CDC an opportunity to respond to the letter.”

Based on this clarification, the requirement for masks in schools has not changed.  Further, the requirement to wear masks will continue, unless and until the CDC responds to Dr. Zucker’s letter. One thing that has changed is that masks outside of school do not have to be worn during recess, sporting events, PE, or if the class is outside. Also, as a reminder of what we have done all school year, as long as students are sitting six feet apart they will be allowed to remove their masks.

As this matter continues to evolve, we will promptly update you with any changes.  We thank you in advance for your cooperation and your dedication to the health and well-being of our students, staff, and community.

Sincerely,

Adam Heroth
Superintendent of Schools