New York School districts are on their own when it comes to setting COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming school year.

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New York Health Commissioner Doctor Howard Zucker issued a statement saying with the end of the state’s disaster emergency on June 25, “school districts are reestablished as the controlling entity for schools” and “should develop plans to open in-person in the fall as safely as possible.”  The statement comes as many school districts are appealing to the state for guidance regarding masks and vaccinations.

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The start of the school year for public schools is a month away and, with the surge of COVID cases blamed on the more contagious Delta variant, districts are left to bear reaction from parents and teachers, positive and negative, to whatever policy they set, especially concerning the wearing of face masks.

During the pandemic last year and the summer-school period, districts could at least point to mandates from the New York Department of Health and Education Department for their policies. Now, those administrators are only being advised to follow “guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and local health departments.”

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