NY state schools go maskless for first time since 2020

New York’s mask mandate in schools has officially ended. For the first time in nearly two years, students could get on the bus and head into the classroom without a mask.

This is really a milestone in this pandemic, and certainly a big moment for many parents, teachers and students.

NewsChannel 13 stopped by Hackett Middle School Wednesday morning when students started to arrive. There were some students who had ditched the masks, but the majority of students were still wearing them.

This is all about what is comfortable for themselves and their families. In fact, some schools are reminding students it is a personal choice and that the choice needs to be respected. Regardless of their choice, they were just kids being kids.

As we enter this next chapter, many parents and school administrators have had questions. Are there certain circumstances where students will need to wear a mask? Will there be masking requirements in school down the road?

Now they have some answers with updated guidance in writing from the state Health Department.

If a student or staff member is returning after isolation, they will have to mask up for days six through 10 after a COVID infection.

Local health departments will be able to put stricter masking requirements in place, and are encouraged to implement universal masking if there is a high rate of community infection.

MORE: Updated mask guidance for schools