Masks required in most Long Island school districts, others not yet adjusting policies

Kristin Thorne Image
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Some LI school districts not adjusting mask policies just yet
Some school districts on Long Island said they're not adjusting their optional mask wearing policies until they receive health department guidance.

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Several school districts on Long Island said Wednesday, despite New York Governor Kathy Hochul's order, they're not adjusting their optional mask wearing policies this fall until they receive definitive guidance from the State Department of Health.

"Until such guidance is provided, we will continue with the protocols that have been endorsed by our Board of Education and shared with our community," Massapequa Superintendent Lucille Iconis said.

Hochul said Tuesday she is instructing the State Department of Health to issue a universal mask mandate for schools.

The Farmingdale and Commack School Districts said they also are not adjusting their optional mask policies until they receive specifics from the State Department of Health. The Commack School District is allowing students to remove their masks when seated at their desks. The district has installed sneeze guards around every desk.

The Kings Park School District was set to be mask-optional this fall, but the superintendent said in light of the governor's order, the district will require masks.

Massapequa parent Dana Durso said she supports her school district's decision, for now, to stand up against the governor's mask mandate.

"I'm so proud and happy to be part of this community because I feel that they are doing what's right for us," Durso said. "And that is fighting."

Durso said it's confusing to parents who are against mask mandates for their children why just a few weeks ago then Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state would not be issuing guidance on masks in schools this fall.

"What changed in these last couple of days?" she asked.

Masks will be required in the Jericho School District where students return to school Thursday.

Superintendent Hank Grishman said masks work.

"We had no kid to kid infections last year," he said. "We had no kid to adult infections and no adult to kid infections, and, again, I attribute that to the vigilance in mask wearing."

ALSO READ | Hochul lays out priorities on COVID vaccines and school masks

New York's first female governor says she has one big priority: "I want people to believe in their government again."


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