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Superintendents call on governor, health commissioner to act on masks

The following letter has been sent to the Governor and Health Commissioner on behalf of school superintendents in the HFM BOCES region

February 26, 2022

Honorable Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, New York 12224

Commissioner Mary T. Bassett, MD, MPH
New York State Department of Health
Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12203

Dear Governor Hochul and Commissioner Bassett,

As you are aware, on Friday, February 25, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for masking, and in particular, updated guidelines for masking in schools.

As you may recall, on January 28, the school superintendents of the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery area endorsed a letter written by our colleagues in the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex region entitled “Pathway to Normalcy.” That letter asked for information and metrics to allow our students and staff to have a roadmap to move away from the current masking requirements.

We write you today with a sense of urgency asking you to implement the following  measures, before students return from vacation on Monday, February 28:

● In compliance with the new CDC recommendations, remove the mandate for masking for school facilities and on school busses in counties identified by the CDC at low or medium levels of risk.,

● Provide guidance to school districts, parents, and staff about the factors that would trigger the reintroduction of masks, and;

● Provide guidance to school districts on changes to other mitigation layers including social distancing.


The Superintendents of Schools in the HFM BOCES region:

Richard Ruberti, Greater Amsterdam
Stephen Tomlinson, Broadalbin-Perth
Dr. Nick Fitzgerald, Canajoharie
Michelle Ellis, Edinburg Common
Thomas Ciaccio, Fonda-Fultonville
Jeffery Ziegler, Fort Plain
David Halloran, Gloversville Enlarged
Dr. William Crankshaw, Greater Johnstown
Heather Philo, Lake Pleasant
Christopher Harper, Mayfield
Dr. Leslie Ford, Northville
Richard Rose, Piseco
Adam Heroth, Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville
Thomas Sincavage, Wells
Nicole Dettenrieder, Wheelerville

New York State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara
New York State Assemblyman Robert Smullen
New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey
New York State Senator James Tedisco

Laurel Headwell, Fulton County Public Health
Erica Mahoney, Hamilton County Public Health
Sara Boerenko, Montgomery County Public Health

David Ziskin, District Superintendent, HFM BOCES