Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued a press conference today to issue guidelines for heading back to school this year.  Many of them, we've seen before.

How will schools look when students head back to school this year?  Will students be heading back to the classroom at all?  Are we going to have another year of at-home learning again?

There have been a lot of questions as the Delta variant throws another wrench in our plans of returning back to normal life.  Part of the way through the summer, New York State essentially said they would be offering no guidelines and would allow the individual counties to set guidelines for their schools.

Today, Dr. Gale Burnstein, along with Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced the plan for Erie County schools.  The guidelines follow very closely to CDC and ADP guidelines.  Here are a couple of the big ones in a nutshell:

Mandates will include:

  • Masks - required  for all indoor school activities regardless of vaccination status.  This includes all busses and other indoor activities.
  • Health monitoring - they will require daily health screenings and temperature checks for all students, teachers and staff.

Recommendations will include:

Masks outdoors

Mask breaks - the recommended time will be 5 minutes per hour.  They recognize that not everyone will need one and they recommend that if you don't need one, not to take one.

Cleaning, Disinfecting, Ventilation - The rooms will need to be cleaned at least once a day.

Physical distancing - This is the one that has the most gray area.  They ask that students and teachers maintain as much distance as possible but understand if they set a specific distance, not everyone will be able to be in the classroom at the same time.  The goal is to have all students in the school (not at home) and spaced out as much as possible.  The executives say their #1 goal is to have students safely return to in-person learning.

The press conference ended abruptly as someone pulled the fire alarm before anyone was able to ask questions.

For the complete guidance summary, click here.



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