NYC to uphold school mask requirement despite new CDC guidance

All New York City grade schoolers must continue to wear masks in the classroom, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday — despite the CDC’s latest guidance that vaccinated students and teachers can go un-masked.

“For now we’re sticking with the idea that wearing the masks is a smart thing to do in schools,” de Blasio said during his morning press briefing. “We’ll keep assessing as we go along, but for now it still makes sense.”

“We’ve been constantly working with the CDC but we also in this case have been very careful given everything the city’s been through,” the mayor added.

CDC officials on Friday called on school districts to set policies that enable “full reopening” of in-person facilities this fall.

The new guidance advises schools to implement “layers of protection” — such as testing, ventilation and contact tracing — in lieu of masks or three feet of distance between students.

Those recommendations echo recommendations made by the New York State Department of Health in June — which the city also opted to disregard.

NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said the decision to keep school mask rules in place for the time being “mirrors” the CDC’s advice.

With students and educators alike going back to the classroom in September, more knowledge about COVID-19 guidelines will be given in the coming weeks.
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He promised additional guidance for parents and students “in the weeks ahead.”

“The key in [the CDC’s] layered approach is to use all the tools we have in our toolbox,” he said.

“The guidance that we’ve given to date has been very clear,” the mayor told reporters, while referring to the city’s existing policies as the “gold standard.”

A teacher leads her students into PS 179 elementary school
NYC grade schoolers must continue to wear masks in the classroom, de Blasio announced.

“Everyone’s coming back in September. A lot of safety precautions being taken,” Hizzoner said. “For now assume we’re wearing masks but that could change as it gets closer. It will be driven by the data we see and the science as always.”

Metro | New York Post

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