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New York will end statewide school mask mandate on March 2 – governor

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Coronavirus23 minutes ago (Feb 27, 2022 05:16PM ET)

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New York will end statewide school mask mandate on March 2 - governor © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A women and a child wear protective face masks as they walk along 5th Avenue as new New York State indoor masking mandates went into effect amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., December 13, 20

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(Reuters) – New York state will end its mask mandate for schools and childcare facilities on Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul said, citing a steep drop in COVID-19 cases.

“It wasn’t always easy, but students, educators and parents stepped up to fight this pandemic,” Hochul tweeted on Sunday. “We’ve reached this exciting milestone because of your hard work.”

The new rules come after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday eased guidelines for indoor masking across most of the country.

The CDC’s latest school guidance recommends masking only in areas of high COVID-19 transmission, instead of universal masking.

New York’s positive test rate on a seven-day rolling average was 1.9% on Friday, according to the state health department website, down from over 20% in early January.

Counties and cities may still require masks to be worn in schools. New York City Mayor Eric Adams said on Sunday the city would lift its school mask mandate on March 7 if there are no “unforeseen spikes” in COVID-19 cases between now and Friday.

“Our schools have been among the safest places for our children since the beginning of the pandemic, and we will continue to make the proper public health decisions to keep our kids safe, including making masks available for any child or school staff member who wishes to continue wearing them,” Adams said in a statement.

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