Children over the age of two must wear face masks at day care and camp, according to a New York law.
On Wednesday, the state of New York removed its indoor mask requirement for fully vaccinated adults, while Governor Andrew Cuomo also declared that children aged 2 to 11 would be allowed to wear face coverings at day care centers and summer camps.
Cuomo and the state’s Office of Children and Family Services defended the mandate, claiming it followed federal guidelines.
“I’m familiar with the science, and I’m familiar with the numbers. Cuomo said in a press conference on Thursday that this is what prompted the federal government to issue the guidelines.
“I also recognize that it is challenging on a variety of levels. It’s challenging for parents who only have one child. Imagine a child care provider attempting to place masks on 3- and 4-year-olds and expect them to keep them on all day. So I understand. We’re coordinating with child care providers to see if there’s something we can do to assist.”
Groups of children who all test negative for COVID-19 by the third to fifth day of camp will remove their masks when within their party, according to the policy for overnight camps. In a guide published on New York Family, Jess Michaels, director of communications for the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey, stated that if the entire camp goes 10 days without a positive COVID test and no symptoms, the entire camp will go without masks.
Children and campers over the age of two, as well as staff members who are not completely vaccinated, must wear face coverings except while eating, drinking, showering, bathing, or sleeping, according to the requirement.
Many politicians have criticized the requirement, claiming that toddlers were not forced to wear masks during the pandemic until now. According to Spectrum News NY1, as mask mandates are being lifted, New York state Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said the new strategy feels like a step backward.
“It would be nearly impossible to keep the mask on them,” Barclay said, “so it just seems like a stupid rule.”
Both sides of the spectrum have spoken out against the bill, including Democratic Assemblyman John McDonald.
“I had three kids.” They get their hands near their mouth or nose or eyes all day long, and that mask is not staying on come hell or high. This is a brief summary.