Masks remain mandatory in all district buildings

Portrait of Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams

Dear Families: 

The City School District of Albany will continue to require masks for everyone inside all district buildings while the legal debate over this matter works its way through the state’s court system. 

On Monday, a State Supreme Court justice in Nassau County ruled against the state’s mask mandate. In a conflicting ruling recently, the state regulation requiring masks in public spaces, including schools, also was upheld in Albany County Supreme Court.

Governor Hochul and the New York State Department of Health have appealed Monday's Nassau County ruling, which means that an automatic stay is granted pending further litigation. This means that the state health department rule requiring masks remains in effect at this time for all New York school districts. 

The rule is scheduled to expire Feb. 1, at which time the state is expected to re-evaluate the requirement. 

As we have from the start of the pandemic, and in light of the state’s ongoing appeal of Monday’s Nassau County decision, our school district will continue to align with the guidance from our health professionals. We will continue to require masks for all individuals in our schools and district buildings until we receive further guidance from the state.

Statement from the New York State Department of Health

The indoor masking policy put in place by the state’s Health and Education departments “aligns with positions of several authorities – such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics – that are designed to prevent COVID-19 spread in schools and communities,” the state health department said in a statement. 

“People in schools who are unmasked are ineligible for test-to-stay and face stricter quarantine standards. These novel programs were put in place because strict adherence to mitigation measures like masking have helped make schools safer places compared to most general community settings that lack such measures. Any removal of these mitigation measures increases the potential for viral spread, leading to widespread quarantine and possibly forcing school closures.”

Yours in education,

Kaweeda G. Adams