WINDSOR TERRACE, Brooklyn (PIX11) — This round goes to New York City.
After a Staten Island judge struck down the city’s toddler mask mandate, another judge ruled the mandate can stay in effect until an appeal is heard.
“You have everything in New York City open and only toddlers have to mask,” said Danyela Egorov, a mother of a 4-year-old. “I’m very disappointed.” Egorov couldn’t believe the roller coaster of a ride Friday.
First, a Staten Island judge struck down the toddler mask mandate, calling it “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.” Then late Friday night, a judge stayed the order that would’ve lifted the mask mandate for 2- to 4-year-olds in New York City day care centers and pre-K while Mayor Adams and the city appeal the ruling.
Egorov and ten petitioners and hundreds of other parents went to court to allow their pre-K children to finish out their school year without masks. She says for her son Max wearing a mask has had a detrimental effect.
“He has only three more months to preschool,” Egorov said. “He needs to see his teachers and see his friends’ faces and be ready for kindergarten.”
Michael Chessa is the lawyer for the parents. “I want parents to choose what’s best for their children. We’re not anti-mask, we are pro-parental choice,” Chessa said.
The teachers union responded to the toddler mask mandate debate. “The mask mandate for the youngest children is now in the courts. While it works its way through the legal process, we need to keep the focus on other measures that are helping to keep schools safe — encouraging vaccinations for those eligible, aggressive testing, and following cleaning and ventilation protocols,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said in a written statement.
“We have no vaccine product for anyone under 5, and they remain our most vulnerable population,” Dr. Ashwin Vasan, the NYC Health Commissioner, said at a news conference.
With coronavirus cases rising because the BA.2 variant is 50% more transmissible than omicron, Vasan was wearing a mask at the news conference and encouraging New Yorkers to get booster shots and to wear masks in indoor public settings.