New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who fired nearly 1,500 workers for refusing to get vaccinated weeks ago, announced that the city will end its vaccination mandate requirements and the indoor mask mandate for public schools on March 7 as long as COVID-19 cases continue to decline, according to NBC News.
This also comes weeks after Mayor Adams said the rule keeping Kyrie Irving, an unvaccinated NBA player for the Brooklyn Nets, from playing in the Barclays Center is unfair but was still hesitant to change the mandate.
From NBC News:
“New York City’s numbers continue to go down day after day, so, as long as COVID indicators show a low level of risk and we see no surprises this week, on Monday, March 7 we will also lift Key2NYC requirements,” Adams announced. “This will give business owners the time to adapt and will allow us to ensure we are making the best public health decisions for the people of New York.”...
“We can’t close down again, and I’m not going to do something at my anticipation to get back that’s going to jeopardize closing down the city again,” Adams said. “Our economy can’t handle it. We don’t have another $11 billion to put back in the economy. We must do it the smart way.”
This news from New York City comes down as the US House sergeant-at-arms also said that masks will be an “individual choice” for those who will be attending the State of the Union address in the House chamber in Washington D.C., according to NBC news.
Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician of the US Congress, wrote that the low level of transmissions in Washington led to mask-wearing being optional at the Capitol.
The governor of New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul, let the statewide mask policy expire as cases started to drop, citing that New York has the most adults and teenagers who are fully vaccinated, according to NBC News.
But, some health experts are still cautioning for the coronavirus pandemic to be continued to be taken seriously.
More from NBC News:
“This seems like a move to promote normalcy without there really being normalcy,” said Dr. Sadiya Khan, an epidemiologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Vaccine mandates are safe and effective public health strategies, and backing down on this is likely to worsen spread.”
While more than 96 percent of adults in New York City have been at least partly vaccinated, experts have still warned that risks remain for those who are immunocompromised or who cannot be vaccinated.
No vaccine is approved for children under age 5, as Pfizer recently pulled its plan to ask for authorization from the Food and Drug Administration as it waits for more data on a potential three-dose series.