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New York City Lifts School Mask Mandate

New York City Lifts School Mask Mandate

With effect from March 7, more than a million pupils enrolled in New York City public schools — the nation’s largest school system – will no longer be obliged to wear masks, according to Mayor Eric Adams on Friday.

“I’m aware that some parents have said that they still want their children to wear their masks,” Adams remarked at a news conference. “It’s possible. No one, even ourselves, will stand in the way of your decisions.”

“The faces of our children are what we want to see,” he remarked. “We’re looking forward to seeing their grins.”

In order for us to be able to console them, he said, “we want to see how joyful they are and when they’re feeling down.” “Masks prohibited us from doing so for over two years,” says the author.

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rolled back its coronavirus safety guidance for schools last week, New York City became the latest city to eliminate school mask requirements. The CDC no longer recommends mask mandates for schools in communities with low to medium risk of COVID-19 spread and severity at the community level – a new metric that takes into account hospitalizations and local transmission.

Chancellor David Banks, who was recently appointed, said that the school system’s COVID-19 positive rate is at 0.18 percent.

“Our schools are the safest places on the planet,” he asserts.

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated mask recommendations, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona declared that the country had entered a “new phase of recovery” that would see a wave of announcements from school districts, states, and local governments about reducing or eliminating mask mandates in the coming days and weeks. According to the school monitoring website Burbio, the number of school districts that are mask-optional has surpassed the number of districts that are still requiring masks for the first time among the 500 biggest school districts in the nation.

With daily school operations more stable than they have been since the beginning of the pandemic, school leaders are now turning their attention to the difficult task of restoring the social and emotional well-being of students in the midst of a mental health crisis, as well as addressing massive academic setbacks that disproportionately affect low-income and minority students.

It’s worth noting that the decision to repeal New York City’s school mask requirement comes just one day after Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to end what he called the city’s “betrayal” of students and announced that he would require all 32 local district superintendents to reapply for their positions. In the previous five years, enrollment has decreased by more than 150,000 children throughout the city’s public schools, according to Banks, who called the figures “an indictment of the job that we have accomplished.”

Teacher’s unions have expressed ambivalence about the repeal of school mask laws around the nation, and the same was true in New York City after the mayor’s formal announcement of the repeal.

“Our physicians concur with the city’s medical experts that now is the appropriate time to safely transition from a mandatory mask system to an optional mask system,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

“Both the take-home tests and the in-school random testing revealed that there was no post-holiday rise, and the infection rate was less than 1 percent,” he said. This is the appropriate and intelligent approach to go with our next shift,” says the author.

Mulgrew said that the school district intends to maintain its testing procedures in place to guarantee that the number of illnesses remains at a low level.

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