On January 6, 2022 the New York State Commissioner of Education, Betty Rosa, released a statement in response to a recent executive order in Nassau County regarding optional masking in schools. Her statement clearly outlines the that all counties across the state of New York are required to enforce masking regulations. Her statement can be found below:
"Under the authority of Public Health Law § 206, the COVID-19 face-coverings regulation (10 NYCRR 2.60), and the Commissioner of Health’s determinations dated August 26 and December 10, 2021, counties are required to enforce school masking regulations. The regulation, which applies to schools and many other sectors, requires local health departments to enforce school mask mandates (10 NYCRR 2.60 [f] [ii]). The Commissioner of Health can additionally direct the local health department to enforce the regulation under the Public Health Law.
Counties do not have the legal authority to require boards of education to vote on specific issues. School officers take an oath to obey all legal requirements. The State Education Department expects school boards will follow all legal requirements, including the face-covering regulation."