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Tipsheet

Some NYC School Children Won’t Be Free from Mask Mandates After All

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

On February 25, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated their masking guidelines, relaxing mask mandates for 70 percent of the country where people are at "low" or "medium" risk of contracting COVID. This includes school children in those counties. Two days later, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) announced that school children in New York State might finally have some freedom from mask mandates. Mayor Eric Adams (D), however, has squashed that sense of freedom for three- and four-year-olds in New York City, the country's largest school district.

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Buried in a Twitter thread from Friday, Mayor Adams made the announcement. This comes even as he himself acknowledged in the thread that "Schools have remained among the safest places in the city throughout this pandemic, with record low numbers of infections."

The decision may be based on how the vaccine against COVID is not yet available for children under five-years-old. 

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The mayor's retweets since then have involved quite the amount of bragging when it comes to emphasizing that students in kindergarten through 12th grade no longer have to wear masks.

This announcement from the mayor comes after many had high hopes he would be an improvement over former Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, who was particularly strict with mask mandates and vaccine passports

As I covered in November, shortly after Adams was elected, there was even some hope that he would relax mask mandates for school children, based on comments made during his appearance on CNN's "State of the Union."

It's worth noting that young children are among the lowest risk group for contracting a serious case of COVID. Further, the CDC considers New York County to be at "low" risk, which Adams himself acknowledged as well. As I also wrote about last November, the United States was one of seven western nations at the time that still had mask mandates in place for school children. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also been consistent in its recommendations that children under 5 do not have to mask up. Further, masks for young children may harm their development

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