August 27, 2020
From State Teachers Union NYSUT:
New York State United Teachers — joined by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, local educators and others — will hold a virtual press conference today at 1 p.m. to call on the state to strengthen its school reopening guidelines and make mandatory the wearing of masks at all times indoors during the school day, except for appropriate break periods and in cases of medical accommodation.
NYSUT will release a letter to the state Department of Health calling for revised school reopening guidance that mandates the wearing of masks at all times indoors, except for appropriate break periods and in cases of medical accommodation. Current guidance mandates the use of masks when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained and strongly recommends masks at all times. The union is calling on the state to make masks mandatory indoors at all times during the school day to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in school buildings that reopen for in-person instruction.
“The governor has said — and we agree — that parents and educators must be confident in their school district’s reopening plan in order for this to work,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “As we hear of disparate mask procedures and other issues in reopening plans across the state, it’s clear that the state must step in. Making masks mandatory at all times is one step toward helping address the reservations that still exist regarding reopening school buildings.”