Buffalo Public Schools release new COVID-19 guidelines for school reopening; face masks and vaccines for teachers strongly “urged and expected”

Education

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Public School District is requiring that face masks be worn by students and staff while inside all buildings.

Among other things, other aspects of the plan include random covid testing of staff and students and daily health screenings for staff. Also, gym classes will take place outside, weather permitting. If classes are inside masks are required along with mask breaks. 

“There will be modifications as things develop, as we get guidance from our medical advisory committee, or from the state health department or the center for disease control,” said Louis Petrucci school board president.

Although there are no vaccine mandates, as of right now, the district strongly “urges and expects” teachers and staff to be fully vaccinated. The district is also looking into taking part in a pilot program that offers vaccinations to kids while in school during the school day.

“When I was a younger man, I got many of my vaccines through the Buffalo Public Schools. We lined up in the gym, you got the shot in the arm, it’s a very effective method,” said Petrucci. “One of the reasons why we’re talking about having staff being vaccinated is with the present prohibition against children under 12 getting vaccinated, we want to make sure that someone isn’t exposing them as well.”

Some members of the community are cautiously optimistic about the district’s plan and direction 

“Overall, what I’m happy about, is the fact that they’re following the CDC guidelines,” said Sam Samuel L. Radford III, member of the Buffalo Equity Coalition. “That was a big problem last year, where their scientist and medical team was saying one thing and the CDC was saying another thing. The CDC and the department of health were saying the same thing, but then their science was saying a different thing.”

Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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