Schools’ experience with COVID-19 health and safety guidance will inform ECDOH recommendations for 2021-22
Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein and representatives from the Erie County Department of Health Office of Epidemiology met Monday with a group of school leaders from rural, suburban and urban school districts, including Erie 1 BOCES and Erie 2 BOCES. The purpose of this meeting was to hear about school leaders’ experiences with COVID-19 health and safety guidance during the last school year and this summer.
The New York State Department of Health announced last week schools should look to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and their local health departments for COVID-19 guidance.
“This is a welcome opportunity for ECDOH and schools to move forward together with practices that reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission in school settings, and maximize student and staff time within classrooms and extracurricular activities,” Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said. “The school leaders’ insights are valuable for our school team to hear, and we discussed use of face masks, physical distancing, return to school protocols, transportation and lunch settings.”
ECDOH will review this feedback as it compiles COVID-19 recommendations for K-12 school settings for this upcoming school year. ECDOH will also consider recommendations from the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in developing that guidance.
There is no set timetable for any ECDOH school recommendation announcements. However, ECDOH recognizes the extreme time constraints that schools face in creating policies and operational plans, and communicating with parents and families before September. ECDOH will share any guidance with school leaders and the general public as soon as it is available.