New York Will Lift School Mask Mandate on Wednesday

Pre-K students listen while a book is read to them at Phyl's Academy, Wednesday, March 24, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Beginning in September the city's public schools, which currently serve 23,500 three-year-olds, will be adding an additional 16,500 kids to the 3K program. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, …
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool

The state of New York will lift its school mask mandate on Wednesday, marking a potential end to the Empire State’s coronavirus restrictions.

Citing recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said that much of the state can be classified as “low risk,” setting the stage for new policies. Counties with high rates of transmission will be allowed to determine their own set of policies.

“We will lift the statewide requirement based on all the all the data,” Hochul said. “However, there are some counties that have higher rate of transmission. We will allow them to determine what is best for their county.”

On March 2, parents will have the option to send their kids to school with or without a mask. However, indoor settings like adult care facilities, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and public transit “will still have masking guidance,” according to ABCNY.

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett speaks during a Covid-19 press conference on February 09, 2022 in New York City. Governor Hochul announced the end of the New York state indoor mask mandate. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

In New York City, where more than a million students will return to class on Monday, Mayor Eric Adams said certain coronavirus restrictions will start to lift soon while school masking will be decided upon later this week.

I want to thank the millions of New Yorkers who have gotten vaccinated to help stop the spread. New Yorkers stepped up and helped us save lives by reaching unprecedented levels of vaccination. I also want to thank Governor Hochul for her partnership in the fight against COVID-19 and for making clear that parents should be part of this conversation.

Additionally, New York City’s numbers continue to go down day after day, so, as long as COVID indicators show a low level of risk and we see no surprises this week, on Monday, March 7 we will also lift Key2NYC requirements. This will give business owners the time to adapt and will allow us to ensure we are making the best public health decisions for the people of New York.

Adams added that mask mandates for school children could be lifted so long as there are no unforeseen spikes and numbers continue to show low-level risks.

“Our schools have been among the safest places for our children since the beginning of the pandemic, and we will continue to make the proper public health decisions to keep our kids safe,” Adams said.

Vaccine mandates will still be in place in New York City, noted Adams, hailing them as “vital to protecting New Yorkers.”


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