ALBANY, NY (WENY) -- Governor Kathy Hochul says face masks will continue to be required in schools for the near future.

The governor said students will be sent home with test kits before midwinter break toward the end of February. Students will receive another test after they return from break, and the state will make an assessment based on a number of metrics, including positivity rates, hospital admissions, pediatric hospitalizations, vaccination rates and other health data. 

"Therefore, after the break, after we have kids tested, we are going to make an assessment that first week in March, based on all the metrics I just described to you, and look at that combined picture. There will not be one number that says yes or no, it's going to be an assessment of all these factors that have guided us throughout, that have guided us to the decision we made today," Hochul said.

Guidance is being developed in conjunction with state health officials, district leaders and others, so schools have clear guidance to follow, particularly if someone tests positive in a classroom where children are unmasked.