David C. Banks, the city’s school principal, will no longer require students and staff to wear masks outside while on school grounds as of Monday.
While schools across New York State will continue to require students, staff, and visitors to wear face coverings at school while indoors, the city’s decision to lift its outdoor rule is an important step. important in New York’s path to easing pandemic restrictions and could pave the way to eliminating the indoor school mask mandate.
“Throughout the pandemic, our schools have remained among the safest spaces for our students and staff, thanks to our gold standard health and safety procedures,” said Mr. we. “I am delighted that we are able to make this exciting announcement and allow students and staff to safely remove their masks while outdoors at NYC public schools.”
The decision comes as city Education Department officials say coronavirus infections among students and staff have dropped 99% since their peak in early January and the test positive rate in schools is less than one percent.
Other pandemic safety protocols will remain in place, including increased ventilation, social distancing, daily health checks and distribution of testing kits, officials said.
Mayor Eric Adams, in a series of television and radio appearances in the morning, described the decision to step back from the outdoor mask-wearing mandate as part of an effort to gradually relax restrictions.
“We will continue to pursue science,” Mr. Adams told WCBS 880.
Mr Adams said he was consulting experts about lifting restrictions in a way that would not lead to another shutdown.
“I said I wanted to withdraw all of these mandates, but we wanted to do it in a very smart way,” he said. “I’m looking at the numbers daily with my team every morning, and when the doctors back me up, I’ll make those announcements.”
Governor Kathy Hochul said state officials will re-check the number of cases at schools after students return from midwinter next week before deciding whether to lift the mask requirement. statewide for schools or not.
According to a poll released on Tuesday by the Siena College Research Institute, 58% of registered voters said they agree with Governor Hochul’s plan to wait until students return to classes, while 30% said the process This decision should have been lifted and 10% said they wanted to see it over after the mid-winter break.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/nyregion/nyc-schools-mask-mandate.html New York City schools will lift outdoor mask ban