School districts around Western New York are preparing for February break and local officials are asking people to stay home and not travel.

In a joint statement aired on WIVB-TV, health departments from the five Western New York counties are discouraging travel to areas with high COVID-19 infection rates.

Hamburg Superintendent Michael Cornell president of the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association says a partnership between the districts and families is keeping all informed to keep infection rates down.

“We respect and appreciate [the health department’s] guidance to families. And our job, we feel like, is to make sure families understand exactly how to follow the out-of-state travel regulations,” he said.

The Niagara Falls City School District doesn’t have a February Break, but has a two-week-long Spring Brea at the end of March. Superintendent Mark Laurrie says he’s already receiving phone calls regarding travel protocol from students and faculty.

“People are going to travel,” Laurrie said. “It will be over a year that the pandemic has happened. Slowly, vaccinations are occurring. People are just going to travel, there’s no two ways about it.”

Members or students who are planning to travel out of state must inform the district. Staff must fill out a form, and parents are required to let the school’s principal or nurse know.

State guidelines require those traveling out of state to either quarantine for ten days or get tested three days before arriving back in New York State and be tested once again four days after they get back.  If both tests are negative, they can then leave quarantine.

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