Mar 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

NYC to lift mask mandate for children under 5

Photo of Eric Adams speaking
New York Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a news conference on Jan. 3, the first day of students returning to public schools after winter recess, in the Bronx borough of New York. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Masks will be optional for children under the age of 5 in New York City schools and daycare settings starting April 4 if COVID cases remain low, Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The city lifted its mask mandate for K-12 public schoolchildren two weeks ago. Adams has faced increasing pressure to do the same for younger children as COVID cases in the city dropped off.

What he's saying: "Our schools have been among the safest places for our children since the beginning of the pandemic, and we will only remove this requirement if the science says that it is safe to do so," Adams said in a statement.

  • "We must get this right for the health of our kids, and I refuse to jeopardize their safety by rushing a decision," he added.
  • The city will continue to make masks available for children or school staff members who still want to wear them.

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