Hudson Valley superintendents ask state to make major changes to COVID protocols in schools
Superintendents in the Hudson Valley are asking the state to make some major changes to COVID protocols in local schools.
The changes would include making more tests and vaccines available and setting guidelines when masks would not be mandatory.
The recommendations are in step with the American Academy of Pediatrics and from the experiences of school superintendents - according to the president of the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents.
The group represents about 75 school districts throughout Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam and Rockland counties.
The council sent a letter to the commissioner at the New York state Department of Health asking for weekly PCR testing to be made available at schools, increase resources for mental health, more school-based vaccine and booster sites and has requested for the Department of Health to ease mask requirements.
The way that would happen would be based on the school's vaccination rate, the percentage of the school tested for COVID and the positivity rate in the school.
The proposal would not be based on positive cases in the community.
Council president Eric Byrne says that's because data shows schools have a lower transmission rate than in the community.
The CDC notes that's the case when the schools have what's called multi-layered prevention strategies, including disinfecting, testing and better ventilation.
It should be noted that these are just recommendations being made to the Department of Health.