Governor Kathy Hochul has announced new measures to combat covid-19 in schools, particularly the Delta variant.
This includes a new statewide weekly testing requirement for staff who are unvaccinated, supported by an estimated $585 million in exclusively federal funds.
A universal mask mandate for schools took effect on her first day in office. All students, staff and visitors must wear face coverings at all times when indoors.
Additionally, the governor said she has decentralized the eventual distribution of booster shots. Another $65 Million will aid local governments in this process.
Hochul emphasized she doesn’t want to be in the way, but rather support communities in the state wherever needed:
“I will not be micro-managing, but I’ll be giving guidance based on your input. I’ll be giving you the cover you need,” said Hochul. “I’ll be there to be the ally, but I will not be imposing state people and locations on all of you without consultation. You tell us where there’s gaps, tell us where something needs to be enhanced by the state, and we’ll be there without stepping on the local public health agencies.”
The state is also exploring a potential vaccine mandate for all Staff in state-regulated facilities.