NYC mask mandate for kids under 5 remains in place, parents to protest at City Hall

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Children under 5 years old will still need to mask up for preschool or day care in New York City.

Mayor Eric Adams had hoped to lift the mandate Monday but ended up extending it due to the rising number of COVID cases in the city.

"We are seeing a slight uptick," Adams had said last week. "We want to be prepared, not panicked."

Parents who are against the mask mandate are holding rallies at City Hall as their battle continues in court.

On Friday, Staten Island Judge Ralph Porzio sided with parents who sued to have the mandate tossed.

However, an appeals court granted the city a stay.

"I have until Monday, April 11, to get in my opposition, my motions to say the stay is not necessary," attorney Michael Chessa said. "If we win the stay, then our win and the toddler mask mandate is void and unenforceable, as the judge in Richmond said."

The city said that without the stay, there would be irreparable harm.

"I'm pretty level-headed as an attorney, but this argument, I was pacing, it was really difficult to hear," Chessa said.

The city insisted it wants to drop the mandate but is only following the numbers for those who can't get vaccinated.

"We're looking for the earliest opportunity to do this safely," Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said. "And we can assure you that day is coming for your children."

There is no timeline on when the appeals court will make a decision.

Both sides are due back in court next week.

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