Mayor Adams promises return to normalcy, NYC schools end outdoor mask mandate

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, February 26, 2022
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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams is promising a return to normalcy soon after the CDC announced it is easing indoor mask requirements as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes.

The mayor's comments come on the heels of a Department of Education announcement removing a requirement that students wear masks outside schools.

The CDC announced a change to the metrics it uses to determine whether to recommend face coverings, shifting from looking at COVID case counts to a more holistic view of risk from the coronavirus to a community.

Under previous guidelines, masks were recommended for people residing in communities of substantial or high transmission - roughly 95% of U.S. counties, according to the latest data.

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Adams said that after the announcement, the city will start easing up on mandates that are in place "to allow people to get back to normalcy."

"That includes everything," Adams said, indicating lifting of mask mandates in schools is also "around the corner."

"I want to commend New Yorkers," he said. "They have done an amazing job. Those who were vaccinated, our numbers are leading the entire nation. Our ability to keep the schools open, able to give the safety feeling people needed to go back into restaurants and the theaters...we are at a good place. We did an amazing job. Now, we are going to start easing up on some of the mandates."

Earlier Friday, Schools Chancellor David Banks announced that beginning Monday, masks would no longer be required when outside on school grounds.

"Throughout the pandemic, our schools have remained some of the safest spaces for our students and staff, thanks to our gold standard health and safety protocol," Banks said. "I am so pleased that we are able to make this exciting announcement and safely allow students and staff to remove their masks when outdoors at NYC public schools."

Masks will still be required for all students, staff and visitors inside schools, for now.

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Still, Adams indicated the lifting of mask mandates in schools should be coming soon.

"When the health care professionals, my experts, I've stated over and over again, it's about following the science," Adams said. "I can't allow the city to shut down again in our anticipation of getting back to normalcy. We are going to get there, in a safe place, based on the science that my experts are giving me."

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