No more masks in NY schools; Mandate remains for NYC public schools

Schools across New York can no longer require students and staff to wear masks, but New York City schools must still comply with the mandate. 

NY Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the change during a press conference Sunday, citing the latest guidelines from the CDC and New York's plummeting COVID positivity numbers.

"We will lift the statewide requirement based on all the data," Hochul said. "However, there are some counties that have higher rate of transmission. We will allow them to determine what is best for their county."

NY school mask mandate

"So long as our indicators show a low level of risk and we see no surprises this week, on Monday, March 7 we will also remove the vaccination requirements for Key2NYC — meaning indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues," Adams said in a following tweet.

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While the statewide mandate has come to an end, counties and cities may still require masks in schools, and parents and guardians may still choose to send children to school in masks.

Hochul mask mandate

The statewide mask requirement will remain in effect at:

  • State-regulated healthcare settings
  • State-regulated adult care facilities and nursing homes
  • Correctional facilities
  • Homeless shelters
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Buses and bus stations, trains and train stations, subways and subway stations, planes and airports.

NYC mask mandate

Last week, New York City announced that the city's schoolchildren will not be required to wear masks or face coverings when outside on school grounds. Masks are still required for all students, staff, and visitors inside schools. 

NYC schools end mask requirement... outside

Hochul said that despite the order ending, the state would remain vigilant against COVID-19, distributing 50 million test kits to schools, monitoring global trends, and looking at wastewater to get ahead of any possible surges of the coronavirus. 

On February 25, the Centers for Disease Control outlined new measures for communities where COVID-19 is easing its grip, saying that more than 70% of the U.S. population can stop wearing masks in public.

However, the agency is still advising that people, including schoolchildren, wear masks where the risk of COVID-19 is high.