Coronavirus: New York City may drop indoor vaccine mandate, school mask rule

NEW YORK — New York City soon may drop its school mask mandate, as well as a rule requiring people ages 5 and older to show proof of vaccination to enter indoor venues such as restaurants and movie theaters.

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According to The New York Times and WNBC-TV, Mayor Eric Adams said Sunday that he plans to remove those restrictions by next week unless there is a significant uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

“More than a million New York City school children will return to class tomorrow. If our numbers continue to show a low level of risk, we will remove the indoor mask mandate for public school students, effective Monday, March 7. We will make a final decision on Friday, March 4,” Adams wrote in a Facebook post Sunday evening.

He went on to say that if the city’s coronavirus numbers continue to “show a low level of risk,” officials will remove the vaccination requirement from its Key to NYC program, which covers “indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues.”

“We’re taking this week to give business owners the time to adapt while we monitor the numbers to ensure we are making the best public health decisions for the people of New York,” Adams wrote. “I want to thank the millions of New Yorkers who masked up and helped us reach unprecedented levels of vaccinations.”

More than a million New York City school children will return to class tomorrow. If our numbers continue to show a low...

Posted by Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday, February 27, 2022

On Sunday, the city’s average number of new coronavirus cases per day was 846, down 54% from 14 days earlier, according to The New York Times. In the same time period, the average number of daily hospitalizations also declined by 47%, the newspaper reported.

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Adams’ announcement came just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that 70% of people in the U.S. will be able to stop wearing masks indoors, including inside schools.

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