BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Public Schools will no longer require masks in schools or facilities, effective Wednesday.

This comes after the district announced Monday night that masks would still be required, even after the state mandate officially ends March 2.

The district cited updated guidance from the New York State Department of Health for the reversal.

The NYSDOH says that students, staff and teachers should wear masks when:

  • They feel more comfortable wearing a mask for personal reasons;
  • They were in the same room within the school as someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer
  • They are known to have been exposed to COVID-19 in any setting within the previous 10 days
  • They are moderately to severely immunocompromised and have discussed the need to mask with their health care provider.

On Monday, the Erie County Health Department said it would follow the state's guidance. Students and staff in other school districts in the county will also no longer be required to wear masks when the state mandate is dropped on Wednesday. Niagara and Chautauqua counties are following suit.

Erie County is currently at a medium level of community risk based on COVID-19 hospital rates.

The health department says people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, should talk to their healthcare provider about masking and other precautions.

The mask mandate will still apply to health care facilities, public transportation, homeless shelters and correctional facilities.