NYC lifts indoor mask requirement for K-12 schools, and proof of vaccination requirement for indoor venues

Adams made his announcements at a press conference in Times Square, urging people to “come in and enjoy the restaurants, enjoy the businesses, and be a part of this great city without having to show proof of vaccinations.”

In schools, he said, parents will still be allowed to mask their kids.

“I know that some who state that they still want their children to wear their masks, you can,” he said. “We are not going to get in the way of your discretion.”

Adams touted how safe public schools are, saying that as of this week NYC schools had a Covid-19 positivity rate of 0.18%.

Still, kids under 5 will be required to keep wearing masks.

“We’ve got to follow the science,” Adams said. “The science states that that age group cannot be vaccinated and they have, among children, they’re some of the highest hospitalization rates. So we have to save our children.”

The mayor’s moves come after Gov. Kathy Hochul, citing steep declines in Covid-19 hospitalizations statewide, announced earlier this week that, effective Wednesday, New York would no longer require students to wear masks in schools.

Individual counties and cities with higher transmission rates could still require masks in schools, and parents and guardians may also still choose to send children to schools in masks, Hochul said.

Changes being made across the country

Most Americans live in areas where those who are healthy don’t need to wear masks indoors, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said recently. That was a sweeping change, and other cities and states have recently made similar changes.
  • California, Oregon and Washington state will shift from mask requirements to recommendations in schools.
  • California is dropping its requirement for unvaccinated people to wear masks in most indoor settings.
  • Los Angeles County will no longer require masks in schools.
  • Illinois lifted its mask mandate for restaurants, bars, gyms and stores. And Chicago ended its proof-of-vaccination requirement.
  • In Massachusetts, a statewide mask mandate for K-12 schools ends Monday. A similar mandate in Connecticut also ends Monday.

The National Football League (NFL) and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) also agreed to suspend all Covid-19 protocols, effective immediately, according to a league-wide memo sent Thursday.

CNN’s Holly Yan contributed to this report.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo