NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City has lifted its requirement for students to be vaccinated to participate in school sports and extracurricular activities, and will also scrap the inoculation mandate for private-sector employees, Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday, while keeping an order for municipal employees intact.
The mandate for private-sector employees will be lifted effective Nov. 1, but Adams said that the city was not prepared to remove a requirement for municipal employees. More than 1,400 city employees were fired earlier this year for refusing to comply with the mandate.
“That is not on the radar for us,” Adams said Tuesday when asked about the prospect of removing the public mandate in conjunction with the private-sector one. The mayor said that the removal of the school activity and private-sector mandates should not be taken as indications that City Hall didn’t remain in favor of widespread inoculation.
“Vaccinated [city] workers have carried out their jobs and they stepped up when the city needed them the most, and we think it’s imperative to send the right message and lead by example,” Adams said.
Adams announced the changes during a City Hall briefing in which he received his second booster shot and encouraged New Yorkers to follow suit.
“Many people think COVID is in our rearview mirror,” he said. “It will remain in the rearview mirror if we do the right things.”
Adams announced the changes two days after the airing of a “60 Minutes” interview in which President Joe Biden declared the pandemic “over,” an assessment for which the commander-in-chief has faced criticism.
Asked Tuesday whether he agreed with that statement, Adams said that caution remained the best approach.
“The most scary parts of the pandemic may be in our rearview mirror, but as the doctors stated, there’s a possibility of another variant. We have to move in a very strategic and smart way,” said Adams. “He may feel that this phase of what we have gone through we’ve seen the worst of it, but we just don’t know what’s on the horizon for COVID.”