ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After masking became optional in schools in March in New York, COVID protocols for classrooms in-state are set to lessen at the end of this month.

Dr. Adam Urbanski with the Teachers Association said the new regulations no longer require unvaccinated teachers to be tested, and they no longer require that any government workers or public officials be tested. 

He felt this is due to a sufficient number of people being vaccinated — some double vaccinated and boosted, and he said the new variations of omicron, at this point, appear to be less serious.

He says that of course does not mean the COVID virus doesn’t exist– it just means if you’re adequately protected, you’re less likely to be seriously ill. 

Urbanski said it’s time to press ahead and live with COVID, even if teachers are exposed to a more critical mass of potentially unvaccinated youngsters.

“We are more vulnerable. But I think that this is a sign that we’re learning how to cope with COVID and how to move forward with as close to normal [lives] as we can manage and I support that, that we actually have to learn to manage this,” said Urbanski.

He said, overall, this is a reasonable relaxation of the guidelines, adding the pandemic had been extra difficult on students. 

“You can only imagine how much more difficult it has been on children. On young people. And it has really turned their lives upside down. Really disrupted their social interactions,” he said. “The overwhelming majority appear to be comfortable with somewhat relaxing the constraints that existed during earlier stages of COVID.”

Urbanski said all of this goes into effect on June 30.