ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The number of COVID-19 cases has steadily decreased statewide since the last spike in cases on January 8 after the holidays, according to the Department of Health (DOH). Between November 16 and February 14, many Capital Region school districts saw a significant rise in cases like Albany, Ballston Spa, and North Colonie.

However, cases in schools have largely followed trends seen in the community. When cases are high in the community, they generally are also high in school districts—and the number of cases in recent weeks has been low.

Ballston Spa School District, for example, went from 91 to 1,104 cases of COVID among students from November 16 to February 14. Two weeks prior (between February 7 and February 13) there were 14 cases reported in the middle and high school compared to 32 cases between January 31 and February 13, based on the state’s COVID School Report Card.

NEWS10 reached out to Gov. Hochul’s office and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for comment on this story. While we did not hear back from either, the end of mandatory masks in schools could come in a few short weeks.

After easing masks for businesses, Gov. Hochul announced that she and her team would assess the need for masks in schools in March. This hasn’t stopped parents and students from speaking out against the mandate in the meantime.

Between 40-50 students at Ballston Spa walked out on Feb. 10 in protest over continued mask mandates in school. Parents and students in the Coxsackie-Athens School District also voiced their frustration that kids had to wear masks in school but not in any other public area. Hartford Central School District and others tied to Warren-Hamilton-Washington-Saratoga-Essex BOCES have reported seeing students kept home from school in protest.

After New York’s Appellate Court gave the state’s mask mandate a full stay at the end of January, NYSED released a statement in support of the Governor and the Department of Health. “We are pleased the Appellate Division granted the application by the Department of Health and the Governor’s office, confirming the lower court’s decision is stayed pending further proceedings. As such, the mask mandate remains in effect for schools across the state,” said NYSED.

NYSED Commissioner Betty Rosa released a statement less than a week later on Feb. 1 calling for people to remain polite despite continued COVID rules. She also called for people to discuss their differences in opinions with respect.

“Across our state and nation, we continue to face tremendous challenges and disruptions,” Rosa said. “I know and recognize many of these issues stir strong feelings. While we may not always agree on how to handle these challenges, I remain hopeful we can commit to a return to civility and understanding toward one another.”

Rosa ended her statement by asking parents to set a good example for their children. “Having seen news reports of parents and students disrespecting school officials who are working tirelessly to support the educational process, I implore you to be mindful of the example you are setting for our children. Remain civil, remain kind, and most importantly, respect each other.”

Albany County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Albany City School District20998162363
Berne-Knox Westerlo Central School District261901258
Bethlehem Central School District4267611108
Cohoes City School District703081772
Green Island Union Free School District675626
Guilderland Central School District110118517225
Menands Union Free School District658210
North Colonie School District110103621195
Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District37347668
South Colonie Central School District12794318166
Voorheesville Central School District27270547
Watervliet City School District37247750

Columbia County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Chatham Central School District 26117348
Germantown Central School District 736216
Hudson City School District 211631276
Ichabod Crane Central School District 933561356
New Lebanon Central School District 587115
Taconic Hills Central School District201471383

Fulton County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Broadalbin Perth School District1353572465
Gloversville School District13835724101
Johnstown School District702032055
Mayfield School District481461148
Northville School District331171029
Wheelerville Union Free School District72415

Greene County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Cairo Durham Central School District 345561150
Catskill Central School District 212051044
Coxsackie-Athens School District35277848
Greenville Central School District27229862
Hunter-Tannersville Central School District845018
Windham Ashland Jewett Central School District825320

Montgomery County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Greater Amsterdam Central School District11644616108
Canajoharie Central School District491161026
Fonda Fultonville Central School District572421143
Fort Plain Central School District25104228
Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District431451452

Rensselaer County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Averill Park School District9549316101
Berlin School District41160957
Brittonkill (Brunswick) Central School District42192631
East Greenbush School District9980317186
Hoosic Valley School District481741150
Hoosick Falls School District1267527
Lansingburgh School District70861127
North Greenbush School District1501
Rensselaer City School District451801052
Schodack School District14221255
Troy City School District 15639820109
Wynantskill Union Free School District759218

Saratoga County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Ballston Spa Central School District9111041676
Burnt Hills- Ballston Lake Central School District746751398
Corinth Central School District26267743
Edinburg Common School616310
Galway Central School District19133927
Hadley-Luzerne Central School District14101642
Mechanicville City School District 37129734
Saratoga Springs City School District10711042576
Schuylerville Central School District28344571
Shenendehowa Central School District173193129228
South Glens Falls Central School District10877717124
Stillwater Central School District37287760
Waterford-Halfmoon Union Free School District21227442

Schenectady County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Duanesburg School District10200240
Mohonasen School District1075001174
Niskayuna School District63651883
Schalmont School District1044181357
Schenectady City School District253115967338
Scotia-Glenville School District50510769

Schoharie County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District30351699
Jefferson Central School District163338
Sharon Springs Central School District24009

Warren County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Glens Falls Central School District80391857
Johnsburg Central School District1380221
Lake George School District24151535
North Warren Central School District25100826
Queensbury Union Free School District1346961592
Warrensburg Central School District37158438

Washington County

School DistrictStudents
Nov. 16
Students
Feb. 14
Teachers/staff
Nov. 16
Teachers/staff
Feb. 14
Argyle Central School District1659528
Bolton Central School District440114
Cambridge Central School District23123861
Fort Ann Central School District41117217
Granville Central School District582701568
Greenwich Central School District28197738
Hartford Central School District1580218
Hudson Falls Central School District1916192596
Salem Central School District954419
Whitehall Central School District40931340