by Joe Krupka
As Covid cases decline nationwide, states have started to lift some mask mandates. In New York, a few weeks back, mask mandates were lifted for indoor dining and other public places making it optional for businesses to enforce the mandate. Since then, the discussion of lifting mask mandates in schools has been a hot topic. On February 27th, Governor Hochul lifted mask mandates for schools after the CDC declared New York State was in the “green zone” (meaning that mandatory masking is no longer needed in schools or public places).
Nassau county is now deemed to be a low risk area. There are 80 positive cases for every 100,000 negative cases and there are 8 hospitalizations for every 100,000 positive cases. The governor left it up to individual school districts to enforce their own mask policies. Governor Hochul stated “Individual students and staff members” and “School districts and private schools can still require face coverings” if they choose to. On Sunday, Dr. Phyllis Harrington, Superintendent of Oceanside Schools, sent an email home to parents saying, “Please know that as of Wednesday, March 2 mask wearing will be optional for all in the Oceanside Schools. I use this opportunity to thank you all for your patience and cooperation as we navigated through this together. A more detailed frequently asked question document will soon follow.” The new masking rules apply to all school related activities. Visitors to OHS no longer are required to wear masks either.