Joint Statement from Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza

March 19th, 2021

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The new, evidence-based guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are a welcome clarification of rules that would allow our schools to further reopen safely and begin returning more Monroe County students to in-person learning.

Today, we sent a letter urging New York State to expedite adopting these new guidelines, which if implemented here would allow our elementary schools to soon begin offering full-time in-person classes and provide clear guidance on when middle and high schools could begin to do the same.

We all know how important it is for our kids to get back to school, and how important it is to make sure we do that in a way that is safe for students, staff and faculty.

We are pleased to see that scientific inquiry has now shown that students may safely be allowed to sit 3 feet apart in classrooms without physical barriers as long as other COVID-19 mitigation measures, including universal masking, are in place.

We remain hopeful that our continuing efforts toward slowing the spread of illness, including widespread community vaccination, will soon reduce our overall transmission rates enough so that our middle and high schools may also be able to reopen safely.