On Friday, December 10, Governor Hochul announced that businesses must require proof of vaccination or ensure that all patrons age two and older wear masks indoors. Later on Friday, the commissioner of health issued this Determination on Indoor Masking Pursuant to 10 NYCRR 2.60. The determination provides additional information on the new requirements for various settings, including school districts. Section 3 of the determination pertains to K-12 schools and states that:
• The CDC recommendations now become requirements in the state. Universal mask wearing is required for teachers, staff, students, and visitors over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status.
• The requirement to wear masks indoors is extended to any “gathering on school grounds which addresses or implements educational matters where students are, or may reasonably be, expected to be present.” If officials are unable to guarantee compliance, they are advised to implement “full virtual access to public meetings” in accordance with the NYS Open Meetings law.
• The determination does not provide an exception to masking on the basis of minimal social distancing, nor mask breaks.
• The new requirement goes into effect today, December 13, 2021.