ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — This week on Empire State Weekly, we look at COVID requirements for federal and state employees.

While information rolls out on President Biden’s “Path out of the Pandemic” plan, here in New York, unions are working with the state on vaccine mandates, testing requirements, and return to work orders. Public Employee Federation President Wayne Spence says, “It’s been a rocky start, but we’re working with the Hochul Administration to figure out what to expect.”

We also tackle back-to-school challenges as the majority of districts resume classes. We are joined by David Albert of the New York State School Board Association and David Little of the Rural School Association of New York. Both men agree a lot of work has been focused on keeping kids safe and to preserve in-person learning.

One portion of the Biden Administration plan is pushing all school districts to instill vaccine mandates for staff and eligible students. David Albert said it’s important for people to get vaccinated but it is difficult to mandate, adding “hopefully with the support from Washington that may make the discussion a bit easier.”

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