On Thursday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that New York City kids between 2 and 4 years old would no longer be required to wear masks in daycare and preschool starting Monday.
It can be recalled that the so-called “toddler mask mandate” remained in place even after mask requirements were lifted for older city public school students in March, with city health officials arguing it was premature to lift it for young kids with cases on the rise citywide and children under five still ineligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
Adams said he decided to lift the mask mandate because COVID-19 cases in the Big Apple have declined.
“I have always said that the science will guide us out of the pandemic, and because we have followed the data, which shows that cases are steadily falling, we’ve beaten back the latest COVID-19 surge. New Yorkers stepped up when we needed them most and have put us on the path to lower risk,” Adams said.
“Throughout the current wave, schools have remained the safest places for our children, and beginning Monday, June 13, we will make masks optional for 2-4-year-old children in all early childhood settings,” Adams added.
The order applies to publicly and privately-run daycares and preschools, though private programs can still opt to keep a mask requirement if they want.