Massena students still wearing masks

MASSENA — Students attending summer school in the Massena Central School District are continuing to wear masks while district officials analyze the latest guidance from the state Department of Health.

“We did have summer school start this week. It will go from the 6th (of July) until August 13 both at Nightengale and here at the high school. The junior high is in now. The high school will be next. They are at this time wearing masks,” Superintendent Patrick H. Brady told Board of Education members Wednesday night.

The latest guidance from the DOH regarding summer school was received late Wednesday.

“We’re analyzing that to see if that would have an impact on our practices, and we still await guidance from the state on what the fall will look like in terms of all the safety protocols, screening, masks, social distancing, and we’re particularly concerned about busing,” Mr. Brady said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had lifted New York’s state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic in June after remaining in effect for more than 15 months.

Most of the state’s pandemic-related restrictions were lifted June 15 after 70% of adult New Yorkers had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but the state of emergency remained intact.

Masks or facial coverings continue to be required for unvaccinated New Yorkers, or people on public transportation, in health care, correctional facilities, nursing homes or congregate settings and homeless shelters.

The state continues to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID guidelines, which recommend children in schools and at summer camps wear face masks indoors.

While district officials analyze the latest guidance, they have also moved forward with a food service program that started when the pandemic began, Mr. Brady said.

“We will be doing summer meal distribution every Monday unless it’s a holiday here at the high school. It will be a seven-day meal pack for families that have students in the district,” he said.

He said they distributed 120 meal packs during the first distribution and also fed about 100 students who are participating in the Massena Recreation Department’s summer recreation program. Mr. Brady said the program is meeting at the high school and those students will be fed as well during the summer. The drop-in program meets Monday through Friday and runs until Aug. 6.

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