Outdoor mask mandate in schools ends Feb. 28, says Chancellor Banks


High School runners | Photo by Malcolm Slaney via Wikimedia Commons

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor David C. Banks today announced that beginning Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, masks or face coverings would no longer be required outside on school grounds. Masks will still be required for all students, staff, and visitors inside schools.

“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,” said Banks. “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.”

In a statement, the Department of Education said, “the safety of students and staff continues to be the top priority of the Department of Education, and this decision follows the success of the Stay Safe, Stay Open’ plan, which led to the decrease of cases by 99 percent and brought the in-school positivity rate under one percent – far below the citywide average.

At this time, in-door masking will continue. the Department of Education will continue to work in close partnership with the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and Health + Hospitals to monitor case rates, vaccination rates, and other data points.

The Department of Education continues to maintain stringent COVID protocols, including increased ventilation, distancing when possible, a daily screener to make sure those with symptoms do not come to school, and the distribution of test kits—all designed to identify persons with COVID rapidly for isolation and reduce possible transmission of COVID in schools. — With Jay Domingo/PDM

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