Governor Hochul announced new requirements to safely reopen schools, including vaccination and testing requirements for all school personnel.

According to the Governor's office, new emergency guidance is being put into place that would make it a requirement for all school staff, including teachers and administrators, "...to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing unless they show proof of vaccination, with either a CDC vaccine card or the Excelsior Pass."

In addition to the testing and vaccine updated, full guidance for reopening was also announced which will include a mask mandate for anyone inside a school for any purpose. This does include an exception for those with "medical and developmental conditions." When anyone in a school takes a mask off to eat or play a wind instrument, 6-foot social distancing protocols must be followed.

Ultimately, the measures are being introduced as the state views "...in-person instruction is critical to student health, well-being, academic success, and social functioning." So while it is an inconvenience to be back in a space with guidelines, the goal of the measures is to take all the precautions necessary to keep schools open, which is so important for our kids. And let's be honest, for all the parents who home school last year - necessary for their sanity as well!

In Pictures: What Education Looks Like Around the World During a Pandemic

 

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.