New York City to lift mask mandates for students 2 to 4 years old

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced an end to mandatory masking for day care and school students aged 2 to 4 years old.

The mayor announced Thursday that the city government would be lifting the mandates on toddlers beginning June 13. Adams boasted that his administration had followed scientific data in its decision-making, citing falling infection rates.

“I have always said that the science will guide us out of the pandemic, and because we have followed the data, which shows that cases are steadily falling, we‘ve beaten back the latest COVID-19 surge,” Adams said in a statement. “New Yorkers stepped up when we needed them most and have put us on the path to lower risk.”

The mayor assured New York City residents that schools are the “safest places” for children. However, Adams went on to say that despite the option to go maskless, the city government still encourages New Yorkers to voluntarily wear masks indoors.

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New York Mayor Eric Adams is joined by police detectives of the Gun Violence Suppression Division at a Brooklyn police facility where it was announced that arrests have been made against violent street gangs on June 06, 2022, in New York City.

New York Mayor Eric Adams is joined by police detectives of the Gun Violence Suppression Division at a Brooklyn police facility where it was announced that arrests have been made against violent street gangs on June 06, 2022, in New York City. ((Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images))

He wrote, “Throughout the current wave, schools have remained the safest places for our children and beginning Monday, June 13, we will make masks optional for 2-4 year old children in all early childhood settings. We still strongly recommend that New Yorkers of all ages continue to wear masks indoors and we will continue to make masks available for any child or school staff member who wishes to continue wearing them.”

The slow, seemingly random rollback of COVID-19 pandemic mandates and accommodations has added even more stress to an already unsettled New York City public.

Father dropping off son at Daycare for Pizza Party, Queens, New York.

Father dropping off son at Daycare for Pizza Party, Queens, New York. (Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

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According to a Tuesday poll from Siena College Research Institute, seventy percent of city residents said they feel less safe in the city now than before the pandemic. Half of those polled said they have changed their daily routine to feel safer, which included at least 40% of adults in every borough, gender, age, race, party or income level.

Only 29% of New York City adults believe Democratic Mayor Eric Adams is doing an excellent or good job as mayor overall, while 64% said he is doing only a fair or even a poor job.

“I’m with New York City parents and New Yorkers can trust this administration to continue to make the proper public health decisions to keep our kids safe,” the mayor said.

Fox News’s Jon Brown contributed to this report.