WVCSD Board Letter to Governor Cuomo RE Mandatory Mask Guidance


WVCSD Board Letter to Governor Cuomo RE Mandatory Mask Guidance

June 12, 2021


The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, New York 12224


RE: Mandatory mask guidance


Dear Governor Cuomo:

As a follow-up to our communication to Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard A. Zucker on May 26, 2021, the Warwick Valley Central School District and its Board of Education once again would like to address the statewide school mask mandate and appeal to you to ease these restrictions.

Throughout the pandemic and the school reopening process, you have strongly urged school districts to seek the input of our communities. We have engaged our community in every step of the process over the past year and a half. Earlier this week, our school district conducted a survey of our faculty, staff, and families. A resounding 81.62% said that if New York State permits mask-wearing to be an option in school, they would then be in favor of the district adopting this change as well.

The data support their feelings on this matter. As you are well aware, the infection rate in Orange County is extremely low – 0.7% is the current seven-day average of those testing positive. And, our district has been maximizing in-person instruction and our schools have been providing in-person instruction successfully throughout the year. There is a very low transmission rate in our schools and with our students, much like schools across the nation. In fact, our school district has not had a positive COVID-19 case since May 18.

For these reasons, we ask that you amend the guidance and allow mask-wearing in schools to be voluntary or ease these restrictions.

We appreciate revisions the state has already made to its guidance as we emerge from the pandemic, such as eliminating the requirement to wear a mask outside. But, frankly, more needs to be done. Like all New York State health regulations, the mask directive is not subject to school board control. It is a requirement throughout the state and the failure of the district to comply with it would expose the district to sanctions and liability. This is well understood and respected by our district’s Administration and Board of Education. However, with all due respect to you, Mr. Cuomo, and the office of Governor and the state’s administration, we respectfully feel that our community’s voice needs to be heard and that action needs to be taken in regards to this matter as soon as possible. Thank you for your time and consideration.



Warwick Valley CSD Board of Education
Sharon Davis, President
Keith Parsons, Vice President
David Eaton
John Garcia
Denise Ginley
Robert Howe
Lynn Lillian
Dory Masefield


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