NY tells CDC it plans to drop school mask mandate, DOE sticking to mandate in city schools
New York Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker sent a letter to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky today saying that the state plans to remove its school mask mandate on Monday.
In the letter, Zucker outlines what he says are inconsistencies in CDC policy.
“The current CDC guidance for K-12 schools recommends a requirement for ‘consistent and correct use of well-fitting face masks with proper filtration by all students, teachers, and staff,’ Zucker says in the letter.
“There is no distinction between mask wearing for indoor versus outdoor activities (except for a vague reference to sports) and it does not address vaccinated individuals.”
He says starting Monday that masks for unvaccinated individuals will be “strongly encouraged” but not required and that masks will not be needed for fully vaccinated individuals or for people outdoors.
However, Zucker does say “schools and camps may choose to implement stricter standards.”
The New York City Department of Education has already come out and said that it is sticking to its own universal mask mandate in city schools.
“The health and safety of our students, educators and staff remain our top priority,” said a spokesperson for the NYC Department of Education. “Per State guidance, local districts may implement standards that make the most sense for their communities, and we are continuing with our universal mask policy at our schools.”
Commissioner Zucker asked the CDC to provide any data that would make a case for keeping the statewide mask mandate in place before Monday.