In spite of Broome County falling in the high-risk category for COVID-19 infection according to the new Centers for Disease Control assessment map, Broome County's Executive says he won't require schools to continue masking rules.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul Sunday announced the state-wide school mask mandate would be dropped on Wednesday, March 2.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar
WNBF file photo

Taking to social media Sunday, Jason Garnar said:

"I support Governor Hochul's decision to end the mask mandate in our schools and will take no action to mandate them locally in Broome County. Two months ago we were getting 800+ new cases per day; today we got 16. Very proud of our county for stepping up to fight back COVID."


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The CDC map released on Friday, February 25, recommends residents living in counties shaded orange, designated at high risk, continue to wear masks in indoor settings to avoid continuing to spread the coronavirus.  All residents, including those in the low and medium risk counties colored green and yellow are still advised to stay current on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters and get tested if they exhibit symptoms.

Some local school districts are already advising parents of changes.  Chenango Forks Central Schools have posted on their website that, with New York Governor Hochul announcing the lifting of the statewide mandate on March 2, masking after that date will be an individual choice.

Residents should check with their local school district regarding masking policy after March 2.

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