With uptick in COVID cases, NYC mask mandate for children 2-4 years old remains

The mask mandate for children 2- 4 years old was supposed to come to an end Monday, but with an uptick in COVID cases Mayor Eric Adams decided to keep the mandate in place.

New York City health officials are most concerned about the transmissible BA.2 omicron subvariant which is responsible for most of the COVID-19 in the city. It is more contagious than omicron.

Children under five are especially vulnerable because they are not vaccinated.  Those children must continue to wear masks at childcare centers in the city.

"We want to keep an eye on this latest uptick to ensure that our youngest New Yorkers stay safe," said Dr. Ashwn Vasan. 

RELATED: Wear a mask in public indoor places, says NYC health commissioner 

"I think it’s imperative that due to the rise in cases that we are seeing, we take a week to assess the numbers before removing masks for 2 to 4 year-olds," said Adams. 

According to the New York Times, cases have grown from 500 daily in early March to more than 1,200 daily cases right now. Based on the color-coded alert system, the city is currently at low-risk community spread. 

Get breaking news alerts in the free FOX5NY News app!  |  Sign up for FOX 5 email newsletters

Hospitalizations from the virus, though, have not been climbing, and health officials have increasingly been looking at that metric to determine what level of public precautions are needed.

On Friday, a judge on Staten Island essentially struck down the toddler mask mandate saying it was unreasonable. The city appealed and an appellate judge ruled in favor of the city. 

City health officials are also recommending that everyone cover their faces in indoor public settings.

Related Stories