*Information reported by New York Post has been used as a source for this report. *
NEW YORK, New York -
New York City's youngest students have joined the freedom that upper-level students now enjoy, the freedom from wearing face masks in school. The celebratory news came to light today, Tuesday, March 22,2022 when Mayor Eric Adams announced the decision in the midst of his concern over a new variant of COVID-19 which is signaling to be the cause of a slight incline in cases.
Mayor Adams, on March 7, 2022, dropped the mask requirement for students K-12, and today, he has spoken to reporters at City Hall stating, Next month, students younger than 5 will no longer need to wear face coverings in school, however, his decision can be reconsidered in the event of a COVID-19 surge. Continuing, “If the numbers continue to show a low level of risk, masks will be optional for 2 to 4-year-old students in schools and in daycares. We’re going to start this on April 4, 2022. We want to see our babies’ faces again,” Adams added.
As of next month, there will be no educational settings in the city where masks are still required.
Mayor Adams announcement counts as a win for a group of concerned parents who have for weeks implored the mayor to change his stance on the unmasking of toddlers in school, highlighting studies that show the youngsters suffer mentally and socially from the face covering mandate.
Some public health experts are in favor for keeping pandemic precautions in place until a clearer medical hypothesis of how New York will sustain with the arrival of BA.2, a highly contagious subvariant of the omicron mutation of COVID-19 which is suspected to possibly hit the community.
The Health Commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, presented his case last week for his reasoning for keeping the mandate in place since federal regulators still have not authorized children under 5 to get vaccinated. Vasan believes the mandate should be indefinitely maintained. Speaking at Tuesday’s City Hall press conference, Vasan stressed that the Adams administration will keep a close eye on the development of BA.2 within the coming weeks before lifting the mask mandate for students under 5.
BA.2 now accounts for about half of all of New York’s infections, according to data from the state Department of Health released Monday. So far, New York has not seen a rise in COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations as a result of BA.2.