AP

NYC may lift rules requiring face masks for children under 5

Mar 22, 2022, 8:53 AM | Updated: 9:19 am

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams is preparing to lift requirements that children under age 5 wear face masks in school.

Adams on Tuesday said that he will make masks optional for those in daycare and prekindergarten starting April 4 if case rates and the risk of the virus spreading remain low.

“We want to see our babies’ faces,” Adams said.

City officials said if trends continue as they have, they will lift the mandate. They said case rates were only one factor they were looking at and did not specify what thresholds of positivity rates or other metrics would cause them to reconsider.

The Democratic mayor two weeks ago lifted several pandemic-related rules, including requirements in place since the start of the pandemic that students 5 and older wear masks in school. The mayor kept the rule in place for younger children who are not eligible to be vaccinated.

Adams also recently rolled back rules requiring people to show proof of vaccination to dine in a restaurant, work out at a gym or attend a show or other events. The move came amid a push for a return to normalcy from the mayor and his counterparts around the country amid a steep drop in coronavirus cases and deaths.

Adams has so far opted to keep in place a rule requiring private employers to ensure their workers are vaccinated. The rule has drawn scrutiny for keeping Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving from playing home games with the team. Irving is unvaccinated and is currently allowed to watch home games as a spectator but not play or be in the locker room.

The rules also apply to the Yankees and Mets, which could leave unvaccinated players sitting out games in the coming season.

Adams wouldn’t say Tuesday if he’s considering lifting the rule but said he’s been peeling back rules one-by-one to see the impact of each change.

“They have to wait,” Adams said of the sports teams.

New York City’s infection rate has been climbing again lately, rising 50% over the past week. It is now averaging a little more than 950 new cases per day, comparable to the daily average in early November before the start of the omicron wave.

City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan says cases have increased slightly in recent days and officials will continue to watch the trends over the next two weeks before deciding whether to lift the rule.

Vasan said officials are closely monitoring the spread of a strain of the more transmissible omicron subvariant known as BA.2 and expect to see some rising cases.

City officials say if risk levels rise from their current low levels, it’s possible the city will reimpose mandates.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

2 days ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

2 days ago

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

3 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week, along with funding for Ukraine.

3 days ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

4 days ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

NYC may lift rules requiring face masks for children under 5