Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda UFSD
Providing our students with the supports, tools, and diverse opportunities needed to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world
- Kenmore Town of Tonawanda UFSD
Gov. Hochul Lifts Mask Mandate Effective March 2
February 27, 2022
Dear Ken-Ton Community,
Earlier today, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that she will lift the mask mandate for schools across New York State beginning this Wednesday, March 2. According to the Governor, this decision is based on the dramatic decline in COVID-19 rates and hospitalizations that we have seen over the past few weeks. It was also based on new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) which no longer recommends universal masking throughout most of the country.
This was very welcome news, as it has been my hope that masking would become a parental decision just as it has become optional throughout New York State in most public places. Consistent with the new state requirements and CDC recommendations, masks will be optional for all students, staff and visitors in Ken-Ton Schools and on district buses beginning Wednesday, March 2. Any students and staff who choose to continue to wear a mask are welcome to do so and will have our support in their individual decision, but it will no longer be required.
The new CDC guidance, released Friday, established new metrics for determining recommended prevention measures based on cases per 100,000 residents and hospitalization data. It also included new recommendations for areas based on transmission level. Under these new metrics, our area is considered to be a "medium" transmission zone and the CDC advises the following:
- If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
- Get tested if you have symptoms
The health and safety of our students and staff will continue to be our highest priority. Additionally, our test to stay program will remain in place until we receive further clarification. We will update our community as we learn more information in the upcoming days. Thank you for your patience as we continue to emerge from this pandemic together as one Ken-Ton.
Superintendent of Schools