NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York students will not be required to wear masks when school starts this fall, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday.

The policy, however, may change if the COVID-19 situation in the state worsens. To mitigate a potential spike in cases when students return to the classroom, New York State is sending more than 3 million COVID-19 test kits to schools, which will be handed out to families.

“This pandemic and COVID has taught us, preparations are the key to literally survival. And when I came into office last fall, we rolled out a plan to deal with schools and a smooth plan to have schools reopen I wanted to sit down with my team now and develop two plans. One is in the short term. That is our fall action plan to prepare for fall and winter this year. And for the long term, what we are calling our pandemic after action review,” she said.

Hochul’s also extended New York’s COVID state of emergency.

“We don’t want to remove any authority we need to make these institutions,” she said. “We don’t want to take our foot off the pedal because we know from the slide you saw earlier that the trend is that the numbers will go up.”

In addition to updates regarding COVID-19 protocols, Hochul also provided the latest on monkeypox cases in New York. As of Wednesday, there were 679 cases across the state. New York City had 639 of those cases, per the governor. Over 61,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine have been provided to the city.