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Brooklyn’s Poly Prep becomes first NYC school to make masks optional

Citing plunging case counts, Brooklyn’s prestigious Poly Prep Country Day School has become the first city school to officially make masks optional.

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Staffers at the private school sent out a letter to parents Thursday to inform them of the momentous policy shift.

“In light of these sharp declines in case counts and our most up-to-date evidence, wearing masks will be optional beginning on February 14 for all students and employees,” wrote the school’s health director Sarah Zuercher.

Administrators said there have been no coronavirus-related hospitalizations or serious cases at the school and that all documented instances have been “mild to asymptomatic.”

Officials encouraged those who still wished to wear masks to do so and said weekly testing protocols will remain in place.

“While many of us are looking forward to going maskless, some will prefer to continue wearing masks as a safety precaution,” Zuercher wrote.

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With locations in Park Slope and Dyker Heights, Poly prep enrolls kids more than 1,000 kids across grade K-12.

Poly Prep Country Day School’s students and staff members will be allowed to remove masks starting Feb. 14 due to the city’s decreasing case count.
Paul Martinka

“We will support each individual’s choice and will follow up immediately if our mask optional policy must change,” Zuercher said.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said she would wait until after schools go through the mid-winter break before deciding whether to lift statewide mask mandate, while New Jersey and Connecticut have already announced they’d be lifting their requirements in the next few weeks.

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