Senator Gallivan Supports Local Control of COVID-19 Requirements for Schools

School and Community Leaders Should Decide Safety Measures for Students and Staff

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C-I, Elma) supports the decision of the New York State Health Department to allow schools and school districts to develop their own COVID-19 related safety plans for the upcoming school year. In a statement issued last week, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker indicated that the department would not be issuing guidance for schools reopening this fall.

"Local leaders are best suited to develop plans to address the needs of their community and their schools,” Senator Gallivan said.  “I encourage school superintendents and school boards to use their own discretion and review guidance from the CDC and their local health departments to determine how best to protect students, faculty and staff while providing in-person instruction this fall.”

Individual school districts will now determine their requirements for facemasks, social distancing, testing and other COVID restrictions. 

In his statement, Commissioner Zucker said with the end of the state disaster emergency back in June, school districts are reestablished as the controlling entity for schools.