NYC not dropping mask mandate for students despite CDC guidance: mayor

Coronavirus

NEW YORK — New York City students will still have to wear masks in schools next fall, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday, bucking CDC guidance issued last week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said vaccinated teachers and students no longer need to wear masks inside school buildings. However, not all school-aged children are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines, which posed several logistical problems for the country’s largest public school district.

When asked about the updated CDC guidance on Monday, de Blasio said the city would continue to err on the side of caution.

“So, I’m absolutely confident based on this guidance and everything else we’ve seen that we’ll be able to get all our kids back into school in September, but for now sticking with the idea that, you know, wearing the masks is a smart thing to do in schools. We’ll keep assessing as we go along. But I think for now it still makes sense,” he said.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said DOH was still reviewing the new CDC recommendations and working with the city Department of Education to come up with guidance for schools, parents and students in the coming weeks.

“What I will say is that the CDC guidance mirrors the layered approach to prevention of COVID-19 that has worked in our schools thus far. And the key in that layered approach is to use all the tools that we have in our toolbox,” he added.

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