NYC School Mask Mandates have Been Lifted: What Does that Mean For Students and Teachers?

Benjamin Ro

On Monday, March 7th, the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) officially removed the mask mandate in schools that had been enforced since the closing of NYCDOE schools in March of 2020. The ending of the mandate is a large step towards normalcy and commences the start of a post-covid era. Along with the removal of the mask mandate, the NYCDOE removed the need for social distancing in schools too.

Due to Covid rates falling below one percent of the total population and vaccine rates reaching over 75 percent of New Yorkers, infection rates have reached a record low. Accounting for this, NYC mayor Eric Adams decided that Masks were not needed in schools. “We are an exciting city and we want to enjoy our city again,” said Mayor Eric Adams, who announced the relaxed coronavirus rules in schools in early March.

Even though it is no longer required to wear a mask, a majority of BCCHS students still opt to wear masks in schools. “I think that Covid is still an issue, and even though infection rates are low, it is still possible that people can still contract the disease. So I will continue to wear my mask for the safety of my family and loved ones” said Emma Nina, a junior at BCCHS.

Although, for the time being, Covid rates are low enough for schools to still be safe without a mask mandate in place, new variants and a surge in infection rates are still a lingering possibility. For that reason, a majority of BCCHS students feel more comfortable and safe wearing their masks in school. Wearing a mask is an easy step to take to further reduce the spread of the disease and to keep more vulnerable students and family members safe.

However, at the end of the day, it is up to BCCHS students to decide whether or not to wear a mask in school and both choices are tolerated and respected in school.