Local schools supportive of counties mandating masks: ‘This won’t change much’


IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — Governor Cuomo announced Wednesday he is allowing individual counties in the state to enforce mask mandates in schools districts. Superintendent Aaron Johnson at West Irondequoit said they’ve been requiring masks for students in school since the first day. He said this news isn’t surprising and it won’t change much for most schools in Monroe County.

“Now that we’ve gone through some of the contact tracing with the cases we’ve had in our schools, we know that masking works and it minimizes if not stops the spread of the virus in our schools,” Johnson said.

Shawn VanScoy is the superintendent at Gananda schools in Wayne County. He said most schools in Wayne County have also already been requiring masks, but said guidance from the state has been vague.

“We’ll be glad to have better guidance from someone closer to us that can listen to what’s going on in our districts or our counties and can make decisions about us,” said VanScoy.

Both superintendents said they haven’t had issues with students refusing to wear masks.

“We allow students to remove their masks when they’re seated at their desks and they’re more than six feet apart, so we do allow what we call mask breaks, those are determined by the teacher,” VanScoy said.

“We’ve had to give reminders but like all of us as we learn a habit we’ve had to condition ourselves to make sure we’re wearing the mask appropriately,” said Johnson.

Governor Cuomo said New York State has the second lowest positivity rate in the country.

News 8 reached out to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office about this new guidance. A spokesperson said this public health law falls under the scope of the health department and the sheriff’s office will continue it’s educational approach with COVID-19.

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