MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Long Island school districts are asking the state for guidance on masks, vaccines and remote learning, but have yet to hear back.

Meanwhile, with the COVID-19 Delta variant, hospitalizations are surging.

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As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Thursday, there is concern.

Numbers of COVID cases are rising in hospitals across Long Island, and families are anxious.

“A lot of denial and regret at this point, but once they get to us, it’s late in the game,” said Dr. Mangala Narasimhan.

Narasimhan, a Northwell Health pulmonologist, said she is admitting unvaccinated patients who are very sick.


“They’ve tripled in the last two weeks,” Narasimhan said.

“Did it scare you to see that hospitalizations … ” McLogan started to ask one man.

“Are starting to go up again? That is one of the things that made me change my mind,” said David Pitti.

Pitti was among the vaccine hesitant taking advantage of a new program in which Nassau County is bringing the COVID vaccine to county workers who will be on paid leave for the shot, and eligible for a cash prize.

“Do you have any recommendations for public schools, in terms of faculty and staff vaccinations, or mask mandates for students?” McLogan asked.

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“So I know that the school districts are talking today amongst themselves about how they want to go forward,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

Public schools had hoped for state guidance, which has not been forthcoming. So they are on their own.

“When we open schools for our students on Aug. 26, everyone inside the building will be required to wear masks,” said Henry Grishman, superintendent of Jericho schools.


Jericho opens first. The board decided it will be all in-person learning at this time.

“Jericho will not be having remote instruction,” Grishman said.

Among the first colleges and universities to go back will be Famingdale State.

“We expect everybody in an indoor public setting to wear a mask, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, whether faculty, staff or student,” said Dr. John Nader, president of Farmingdale State College.

Athletes and those who live on campus must be vaccinated.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre made an announcement that the dispensation is expiring, meaning that Catholics should return to in-person Mass on Sundays and holy days beginning Aug. 15.

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The church and schools say they will monitor developments and adjust if needed.

Jennifer McLogan