GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — The Gates Chili Central School District will be requiring masks for all students, staff and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
The school made the announcement on its website on Monday.
On Aug. 2, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza announced that they are recommending all county residents, vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear masks in all public indoor facilities, consistent with current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is due to the county being classified as a substantial area for transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
As a result, effective Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, all staff, students and visitors of the district are required to be masked inside all buildings while the county falls under this designation. Masking outdoors is not required.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza are recommending all residents, vaccinated and unvaccinated, begin wearing masks in all public indoor facilities, consistent with current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Additionally, the officials announced Monday all Monroe County employees will be required to wear masks or face coverings in public and common areas at all county-operated facilities, effective Tuesday.
With schools set to reopen in about a month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on local districts in areas of high transmission rates Monday to start planning, and institute a vaccination requirement for teachers and district employees — similar to the one he announced last week for state employees and patient-facing health care workers at state hospitals.
Under the governor’s plan, state employees must show proof of vaccination or undergo regular testing in order to head into work.
Officials from the New York State United Teachers union said they support encouraging more vaccinations, but not a vaccine mandate.
Dr. Mendoza said the goal for now is for all schools to be open in full, but admits the ever-evolving pandemic makes it difficult to plan for the future.
“The reality is indoor spaces include schools, and if the rate continues as substantially as it is, and if we continue to follow the CDC guidelines, then we will have to be masking up at schools,” Dr. Mendoza said.
This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide updates as they become available.