New York reverses decision on mask mandate for young kids in child care settings

State health officials say they understand how hard it is to get young kids to wear a mask.

News 12 Staff

May 25, 2021, 10:11 AM

Updated 1,054 days ago

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Reaction has poured in from New Yorkers as the state reversed its mask mandate for kids as young as 2 years old in child care settings.
The reversal was announced after days of protests over the directive from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Last week, the state recommended that children ages 2-5 wear masks while in a child care setting except when eating, drinking or taking a nap.
Kally Ciccone, co-owner of Kiddie Care, says the initial mask mandate was a step in the wrong direction. Ciccone says her center had no child-to-child transmission. She says most cases were transmitted from outside sources.
State health officials say they understand how hard it is to get young kids to wear a mask.
"It's hard enough to keep their shoes and socks on so to keep masks on the is very difficult," says Ciccone.
They now say they encourage, but will not require, kids ages 2-5 to wear masks. Day care workers will still have to wear masks.
Some parents say it's a relief that the kids won't have to wear masks anymore.
"I think they should breathe," says Doreen Saladino, of Smithtown. "I think they should just be kids."
The reversal allows child care providers to continue the safety protocols and practices they've been following since the start of the pandemic.


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