New York to lift statewide school mask mandate by March 2

Students wearing masks leave the New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math (NEST + m) school in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, Dec. 21, 2021, in New York. New York City public school students will be allowed to remove their masks outside starting next week but must keep them on indoors for now. Schools Chancellor David Banks announced the new policy in a news release Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Credit: AP Photo / Brittainy Newman, File

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Sunday that the statewide masking requirement in schools will be lifted by March 2.

In a briefing held in Albany, the Democrat cited declining COVID-19 cases and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

She said counties and cities could keep their own mandates in place, and parents could still choose to send their kids to school in masks.

The new rules effective Wednesday apply to children 2 years and older in childcare facilities. New York State has 2.7 million schoolchildren, including about 1 million in New York City.

Earlier this month, Hochul let a broad mask mandate for most indoor settings expire, but said the schools requirement would remain in place. She had promised to revisit the schools question by the first week of March.

  • New York to lift statewide school mask mandate by March 2

    Teachers line up their students before entering PS 179 elementary school in the Kensington neighborhood, Sept. 29, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. New York City public school students will be allowed to remove their masks outside starting next week but must keep them on indoors for now. Schools Chancellor David Banks announced the new policy in a news release Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Credit: AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File

  • New York to lift statewide school mask mandate by March 2

    New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during the New York State Democratic Convention in New York, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. Credit: AP Photo / Seth Wenig

The broad mask mandate was implemented during a COVID-19 surge fueled by the omicron variant in December.

Masks are still required in some places, including public transit.


NYC schools drop outdoor mask mandate; indoor mandate stays


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