July 13, 2020 3:00 pm – School reopening and face mask rule

Today, Governor Cuomo provided guidance for local communities regarding school reopening in the fall.  Regions in Phase IV with less than a 5% coronavirus infection rate over a 14-day rolling average could reopen.  Schools, after a restart, will have to shut down if a 7-day infection rate hits 9%, according to the governor.

School districts have until the end of the month to develop local plans on how they will handle:

  • Communication/Family & Community
  • Engagement
  • Health and Safety
  • Facilities
  • Child Nutrition
  • Transportation
  • Social Emotional Well-Being
  • School Schedules
  • Budget and Fiscal Matters
  • Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
  • Technology and Connectivity
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Special Education
  • Bilingual Education and
  • World Languages
  • Staffing


A final decision by the state on school reopening will come the first week in August.

Also, The Business Council of New York State reported on Friday that NYS Department of Health issued an emergency rule to address wearing masks in public effective July 9.  Language in the rule says:

Business operators and building owners, and those authorized on their behalf, shall deny admittance to any person who fails to comply with this section [requiring face-coverings] and shall require or compel such persons’ removal. Provided, however, that this regulation shall be applied in a manner consistent with the federal American with Disabilities Act, New York State or New York City Human Rights Law, and any other applicable provision of law.


Read the entire rule on our COVID-19 web page here .


The rule does specify that any individual violating any provision of the rule is subject to civil penalty up to $1,000 per violation, while businesses are subject to civil penalties specified in statute, up to $2,000 per day of violation.


Steuben County businesses that have an issue with enforcing mask restrictions should contact County Manager Jack Wheeler at (607) 664-2245 to discuss enforcement.