WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — If the masking order for schools truly ends on February 21, the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association wants to know ahead of time.

This was made clear in a new letter sent by the group to Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“While school-aged populations have experienced the mildest health-related symptoms associated with COVID-19, they have also suffered the most under the weight of COVID-related restrictions and requirements,” the joint letter read.

The superintendents say they’d like advance notice if it’s decided that the universal mask mandate for schools will, indeed, end this month, so that they can properly prepare.

“Providing advance notice of this critical off-ramp will give students, their families and our staff time to prepare for a post-crisis period of time when we have the opportunity to exercise discretion about mask use in schools on our own behalf,” the letter read.

Also in the letter, the superintendents praised the implementation of “Test To Stay” programs, which began in Erie and Niagara County schools last month. Through this, students who are identified as close contacts of a COVID-positive person gained the ability to stay in the classroom with a negative test, instead of quarantining.

The letter calls in-person schooling “critical to the academic progress and social-emotional health of our young people.”

“TTS has helped us keep healthy students in school rather than subjecting them to quarantine,” the letter says.

MORE | Find the Twitter post containing the letter here.

Latest Posts

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.