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> COVID19 2021-06-07 Update on Wearing Masks in Schools, Local Vaccination

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Monday, June 7, 2021

For media inquiries:
Samantha Hillson,, 607-274-6714

COVID-19 Update: Mask Update for Schools, Local Vaccination Available

(Ithaca, N.Y., June 7, 2021) – The Tompkins County Health Department is alerting the community to a recent announcement by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding updated mask guidance in schools.

As of Monday, June 7, New York State is modifying U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask guidance to allow children to not wear masks when outdoors in a school setting. This change aligns youth camp and school guidance. CDC has no objection to this change in the mask mandate. School districts will be required to uphold consistent mask use indoors based on recommendations from the CDC.

“The mask guidance changed very quickly for adults who are fully vaccinated, however, most children are still unvaccinated. Evidence continues to show that consistent mask use indoors for those two years and up who are not fully vaccinated, along with other prevention strategies, is key to reducing the spread of COVID,” stated Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director.

“We are making strides with our high vaccination rates, including those 12-17 years old. In Tompkins County, we have partnered with our school districts to provide vaccination in the schools. This week, we will have second dose clinics for young people in Dryden, Newfield, and a large clinic at the mall site. However, we still have regular cases among children in many of our local districts. As we have seen all year, masks and other strategies clearly prevent the spread of germs and curb the spread of COVID as well as other viruses,” Kruppa continued.

Information about local vaccination clinics can be found on the TCHD website. TCHD and Cayuga Health System will continue to schedule smaller, site-specific vaccination clinics in rural locations and through the Request a Clinic form over the next few weeks. Local pharmacies and medical offices may have vaccine available, details available online.

NYS State-run Vaccination Sites are offering vaccine to all eligible age groups. Appointments can be scheduled on the NYS Department of Health website.

On March 12, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation granting public and private employees time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Under this law, employees will be granted up to four hours of excused leave per injection that will not be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued. On May 27, Governor Cuomo announced that any necessary recovery period from the COVID-19 vaccine is covered under the state’s Paid Sick Leave Law. Downloadable posters regarding masks and paid leave for vaccination can be found on the Health Department website.

Individuals without computer and/or internet access may also call 2-1-1 (877-211-8667) during regular business hours 8:30am-5:00pm to be registered over the phone.

The most recent Tompkins County COVID-19 Town Hall from June 3, 2021 can be viewed on the Tompkins County You Tube page.  

For local updates and information, check the TCHD website

The Tompkins County Health Department is your partner for a healthy community. Find us online at, and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TompkinsHealth.