New York City Mayor Eric Adams said springtime is the right time to take it off. 

On Tuesday, Adams made wearing masks for 2- to 4-year-old children in daycare centers and schools optional.

Adams believes that science, the science he’s looking at, will “guide the city out of the pandemic if they follow the data.

“It’s now been two weeks since we removed the mask mandate for K-12 public school children, and our percent positivity in schools has, thankfully, remained low,” stated Adams. “Each day, we review the data, and if we continue to see low levels of risk, then, on Monday, April 4, we will make masks optional for 2- to 4-year-old children in schools and daycare settings. This will allow us sufficient time to evaluate the numbers and make sound decisions for our youngest New Yorkers.

“We must get this right for the health of our kids, and I refuse to jeopardize their safety by rushing a decision.”

According to the international news agency BNO News, New York State reporters, on March 19, there were 2,642 new COVID cases, which is a 47% jump from last week. Adams’ decision comes amid fears of a BA.2 variant of COVID (a more transmissible version of the infection) that can make its way to the northeastern part of the country around the time the new rules go into effect.

Several educational activist organizations such as Students Break The Silence (a group focused on the experiences of Black and Indigenous people of color, queer and disabled students) called the mayor’s actions “intentional ignorance & white-led policy decisions” questioning Adams’ consideration of Black, Brown and immuno-compromised students. Others were a little more diplomatic, but just as dissatisfied with the mayor.

The Education Council Consortium (a group made up of City Council and Community Educational Council members) took to Twitter to collectively say that Adams was letting those outside of the City Hall-sphere control his decisions.

“Students shouldn’t have to live in fear because adults are playing politics with their health!” stated one of their tweets. “January was awful & we don’t want to do that again. We need @NYCCouncil to provide checks & balances & we need to #EndMayoralControl Decisions like this with no REAL community input are why.”

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