New York state school mask mandate will end Wednesday

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul stated Sunday that the statewide school mask mandate will end Wednesday. Shortly afterward, New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated the vaccine mandate for bars, eating places and theaters might end as quickly as March 7.

The governor’s office stated the choice to end the mask mandate was primarily based on “the analysis of several key COVID-19 data trends and after consulting with health and education experts, as well as parents, teachers and school administrators.” 

The state’s mandate will be lifted, however native officers will nonetheless keep the authority to require masks indoors, Hochul stated. Parents and guardians should select to ship their kids to school in masks as properly.

Hochul stated the statewide COVID-19 positivity rate had reached its lowest degree for the reason that Omicron surge began this winter, and the state had the bottom positivity rate since July 2021, earlier than school started. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks through the 2022 New York State Democratic Convention on the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on February 17, 2022 in New York City. 

Michael M Santiago/GettyImages / Getty Images

Additionally, New York will distribute greater than 20 million checks to school districts throughout the state, the governor stated.

Masks will nonetheless be required in some settings, together with well being care services, Hochul stated. 

In New York City, Adams stated he would decide on lifting the mask mandate within the metropolis’s colleges, the nation’s largest public school system, on Friday. He stated he needed to attend to verify the numbers stayed low after college students had been again in lessons for a full week following the winter break. 

Adams stated the town’s vaccine mandate for eating places, bars and theaters may very well be lifted as quickly as March 7, so long as the town’s COVID-19 circumstances proceed to fall.

“We’re taking this week to give business owners the time to adapt while we monitor the numbers to ensure we are making the best public health decisions for the people of New York,” Adams tweeted. 

Vaccine mandates for New York City municipal employees stay in impact. 

Hochul and Adams’ bulletins got here simply two days after the Centers for Disease Control stated that masking and social distancing are solely vital in areas the place the danger of an infection is excessive. 

The CDC stated Friday that residents of counties at “medium” threat — round 42.2% of the nation’s inhabitants – ought to put on masks if they’re at heightened threat of extreme illness, like those that have compromised immune techniques. People in counties at a “high” degree — round 28.2% of Americans — ought to nonetheless put on a mask indoors, the CDC stated.