Incoming New York State Governor Kathy Hochul said in her first official address on Tuesday that masks will soon be required for anyone entering schools in the state.
She also said the state needs to mandate vaccinations for all school personnel, with an option to test weekly instead.
Hochul, sworn in as New York’s 57th governor in a procedural ceremony held at midnight, has also become New York’s first female governor.
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore conducted the ceremony in the Red Room of the Capitol. Holding the Bible was Hochul’s husband, the First Gentleman, Bill Hochul.
Delivering my first address as Governor to the people of New York. Watch: https://t.co/U2iNYfCBKZ
— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) August 24, 2021
“Getting children back to school safely is one of my highest priorities,” she said in her inaugural address.
“To that end, I am immediately directing the Department of Health to institute universal masking for anyone entering our schools.”
New vaccine requirements are slated to go into effect across the state, she said, since the FDA fully authorized the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to fight COVID-19.
New York City has already mandated vaccinations for teachers, staff members and other city employees entering the schools, without an option for weekly PCR coronavirus tests instead.
However, Hochul said in her address that New York “needs to require vaccinations for all school personnel with an option to test out weekly, at least for now.”