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Mask mandates should continue in schools, state panel says

Mask mandates should continue in schools, state panel
says 1

State health panel OKs keeping school mask mandate

The state Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council approved readopting the emergency regulation on face coverings.

The initial emergency regulation, approved by the same panel in July and authorized by the state Commissioner of Health in August, was set to expire Nov. 24.

The panel on Thursday “unanimously approved masking in health care settings, adult care facilities regulated by the department, school settings, correctional facilities and detention centers, homeless shelters, public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs.”

Health officials noted that COVID-19 cases statewide have risen tenfold since late June.

Meanwhile, Gov. Kathy Hochul threatened to reimpose restrictions to control the virus if the state’s positivity rate continues to rise.

Speaking in Western New York, a region with some of the state’s highest rates, Hochul said the ways to avoid restrictions include vaccinations and booster shots.

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“At some point, if the numbers don’t start on a downward trend, we’re going to have to talk about larger protocols, which we all know are available to us,” she said. “So this is the warning.”

Read more about the governor’s remarks in this story from Newsday’s Matthew Chayes.

How to handle the holidays: With Thanksgiving approaching Newsday connected our readers to local doctors who provided tips on how to celebrate safely whether your vaccinated or not during a recent Newsday Live discussion. Watch the replay.

Plus: Our guide has more resources to help you navigate the holidays whether you’re planning to travel, host or attend a gathering, including what to know about at-home tests and booster shots.

The chart below shows Long Island’s seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate has been climbing again.

Search a map of new cases and view charts showing the latest local trends in vaccinations, testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

See more coronavirus headlines below.

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State health panel approves keeping school mask mandate in place

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