ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Community members of Rochester reacted a day after the State Health Department announced a mask mandate for all students, faculty and staff.
The mandate will affect both private and public schools across the state. The emergency regulation is a response to rising COVID cases, and the Delta variant. A spokesperson from the DOH says all districts across the state have been notified.
The news came three days after Gov. Kathy Hochul was sworn into office, but it was anticipated by many. Gov. Hochul told New Yorkers to expect a school-mask mandate in a briefing on Tuesday.
She also warned of a possible vaccine mandate for all school personnel — which has not been put in place yet. News 8 spoke to two city residents with younger family members who head back to school soon.
Both say they’re supportive of the governor’s latest effort to combat COVID-19, but it could be a challenge for some.
“I think it will be hard to control the kids, especially the young ones who aren’t used to wearing it for eight hours a day,” Nate Ellison, with a younger niece heading back to school said.
“The kids under 12 don’t have no cure. And some of the kids 12 and up are not getting the vaccine,” Diane Bolling, who has two grandkids enrolled in the RCSD said.
Her 12-year-old grandson isn’t comfortable getting the vaccine right now. “He’s just not ready,” Diane said.
“It will be hard for the three or four-year-old’s, the kids run around play, the mask goes under their nose.”
Meanwhile districts like RCSD required all employees get the vaccine or undergo weekly testing for the upcoming school year. There is yet to be confirmed on when a possible state-wide mandate would be put in place for school personnel.
New York City has been mandating masks in school since last year when the pandemic first hit. Just earlier this week, the city also announced a vaccine mandate for all public school teachers and staff.