Incoming New York City Mayor Eric Adams Wants To End School Mask Mandate

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Topline

Eric Adams, the incoming mayor of New York City, told CNN on Sunday that he wants to end the school mask mandate when he takes office, a change that would affect the largest public school district in the county. 

Eric Adams, the Democratic candidate for New York mayor, speaks during an interview at a Brooklyn … [+] diner, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)


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Key Facts

Adams, who comes into power on Jan. 1, said he “look[s] forward” to dropping the mask mandate “if we can find a safe way to do it,” the mayor-elect said on CNN’s State of the Union

Adams, who did not provide a timeline for the possible end of the mandate, referenced “socialization” as one of his main reasons for wanting to end it, saying “not being able to see the smiles of our children has a major impact.”

Outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that he plans to keep the mask mandate in place for students “out of an abundance of caution” because “kids have adapted to them well,” the New York Post reported.

Big Number

984,462. That’s how many students attended New York City public schools in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

Tangent

New York City does not mandate that students be vaccinated to attend school. However, after children ages 5 to 11 became eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine last week, de Blasio’s administration began offering a $100 incentive for kids to get inoculated at a city-run clinic. Students will also be able to get the shot at in-school vaccination sites. 

Key Background

As the pandemic rages on, public school districts around the country are divided over in-school mask mandates. Massachusetts, which has a temporary statewide mask mandate for students, recently extended the school mandate through Jan. 15. Los Angeles, which became the first and largest public school district to mandate that students ages 12 and over get the vaccine, also mandates that pupils wear masks. In Florida, which is home to five of the 10 largest school districts in the country, mask mandates have been banned by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Such mandates are also banned in Texas. 

Further Reading

Louisiana—1st State To Reissue Mask Mandate—Now Lifting It (Forbes) 

Biden Administration Files Cease And Desist To Stop Florida From Withholding School Funds Over Mask Mandates (Forbes)

Some Mask Mandates Lifted Where Covid-19 Cases Are Falling (Forbes)

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