Hochul: School mask mandate could be dropped if COVID rates drop after holidays
New York may be nearing the point where kids no longer need to mask up in schools!
At a press conference in Mount Vernon Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul said dropping the mask requirement in schools might happen if New York is in a good place, COVID-wise, after the holiday season.
The hope is that with increasing vaccinations in all age groups, including the newly approved 5 to 11 age group, that a spike in holiday-related cases will be avoided. "Right now, here's what I see friends. A lot of demand. The lines are a little bit long and all this. That's good. At some point, if the parents are any indicator, it's going to level off, and then we'll start saying where are the pockets where we need more kids vaccinated," says Gov. Hochul.
As of right now, about 67% of all New Yorkers are fully vaccinated. And if the rate of 12-to-15-year-old's is any indication as to how many 5-to-11-year-olds will get a shot, their vaccination rate is nearly 65%.
Gov. Hochul also announced that children who get vaccinated against COVID-19 will have a chance to go to a SUNY or CUNY school for free.
According to the state website: "The 'Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate' vaccine incentive scholarship is a five-week public outreach campaign, running through Dec. 19, 2021, and consisting of a series of statewide drawings to increase awareness of the availability and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and provide incentives to New Yorkers 5-11 years of age to get a COVID-19 vaccine."
The full scholarship includes tuition, fees, room and board and expenses "to any two-year or four-year New York state public college or university."
There will be 50 winners. Here's how to enter.