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NYC to make masks optional in schools for kids under 5 starting April 4

NYC Mayor Eric Adams
Posted at 9:23 AM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 12:23:45-04

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Eric Adams is preparing to lift requirements that children under age 5 wear face masks in school.

Adams on Tuesday said that he will make masks optional for those in daycare and prekindergarten starting April 4 if case rates and the risk of the virus spreading remain low.

The Democratic mayor two weeks ago lifted several pandemic-related rules, including requirements in place since the start of the pandemic that students 5 and older wear masks in school. The mayor kept the rule in place for younger children who are not eligible to be vaccinated.

"Since we removed the mask mandate for K-12 students, numbers have remained low. We'll continue to peel back requirements. But we won't be rushed. New Yorkers can trust me to follow the science and put the health and safety of our kids first," Adams tweeted Tuesday.

Cities and states across the country have been rolling back mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions as the U.S. emerges from the omicron surge. Current case rates are lower than the U.S. has seen since the start of the surge caused by the delta variant last summer.