Eric Adams wants to drop NYC toddler mask mandate ‘within a week’ as parents protest

by Abdulhaqq Obisesan Oladimeji

Mayor Eric Adams hopes to lift the city’s mask mandate for toddlers “within a week or so,” but his decision will still be contingent upon the city’s COVID-19 numbers, he said Friday.

Asked about the mandate in an interview with 1010 WINS Friday morning, Adams said he was “totally at the mercy of my health team.”

“They stated that we’re continuing to look at the numbers. Once they are comfortable and they give me the orders, I’m chomping at the bit to get it done,” he said. “I’m hoping that we can do it within a week or so, but it’s really dependent on how this new variant responds.”

Children under the age of five who are enrolled in city schools and day cares are currently required to wear masks indoors, as they are not yet eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

Adams last month said he would eliminate the mandate on April 4 if the five boroughs’ COVID-19 statistics remained low. On April 1, however, he said his team had decided to keep the rule in place, citing a rise in cases fueled by the BA.2 variant of COVID-19.

A state appellate court granted him a stay to do so after a Staten Island court struck the mandate down, calling it “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.”

During Friday’s interview, Adams said he felt the need to “do the right thing, so that we don’t go backwards in our city.”

“I feel more urgent about dropping [this] mandate, more than others,” he said. “Trust me when I tell you I want to see the faces of our children, but as I stated, I must move with the science and my health care team that I speak with every morning.”

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