By Carol Tannenhauser
Schoolyards will never look better!
Starting Monday, February 28, masks or face coverings will no longer be required when students and staff are outside on school grounds, the Department of Education (DOE) announced on Friday. Masks will continue to be required indoors.
“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 Schools Chancellor David 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.”
This decision is based on the fact that “the in-school positivity rate [is] under one percent – far below the citywide average,” a DOE release explained. “At this time, in-door masking will continue. We 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 also 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.”
Take the masks off completely. I keep hearing “follow the science”, the science is that the kids are far far more likely to get hurt on the bus on the way to school (heaven forbid) then they are likely to get sick from Covid as a result of being in school. They are far more likely to end up in the hospital from being at a playground, or in a pool. Yet the same parents who are saying masks are needed are the same parents putting their kids on the bus, sending them to a playground, and tossing them into a pool. It’s math, it’s simple math. That’s the science.
We’ll….here’s the thing, a kid may not have any symptoms and can still be carrying and spreading the virus. A person who may have had COVID and recovered can still transmit and spread the virus. “Following the science” means following ALL the science, not just the bits and pieces that make your individual life easier and more fun. It’s not about kids getting hurt on the bus or struck by a car or lightning, it’s about them spreading the virus to people who may have underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable. That’s why we don’t want kids to get the virus.
Actually, we should ban all these little disease vectors from all public places. Masks clearly don’t work, and children, who generally display no symptoms, are free to roam about infecting unsuspecting and vulnerable adults. Until we reach Covid zero, kids need to be sequestered. To ensure a working level of compliance, penalties should be harsh, and capital punishment (because this is a life and death matter) would be on the table.
That’s not science, that’s making tradeoffs between necessity and risk.
Science does involve a necessity/risk trade off. That’s exactly why there’s informed consent with every shot and piece of medical advice. I think the point the original commenter was making here is parents can’t understand the overmagnification of risk in that equation. It seems less about scientific cost/benefit and more about politics.
What’s astonishing is that NY school kids have been forced to wear masks OUTDOORS all this time. That, my neighbors, is anti-science.
It’s about time. Let’s unmask our kids INSIDE as well. We should have never had a “kids last” approach. Shameful.
Teachers union first- kids last.
Kids can’t go to school if all their teachers get sick.
Looks like our “leaders” are finally starting to wake up and following science rather than hysteria.
DOT = Department of Transportation. DOE = NYC Department of Education.
Thanks! Fixed 🙂
Masks should be off for children indoors. They’ve been off abroad and off on other states for ages. And children are FINE. I can’t believe masking continues in ny and I hope people vote out the jokers who have required them of late.
It is stunning that they still behave like it is 2020. In other states they don’t wear masks for over a year and cases don’t increase.Same in Europe. Just frightening for me to realize to live in a city where people can’t move on.
Absolutely asinine that these people are still masking children INDOORS. Children are the lowest risk population to COVID and have the most to lose from not being able to see faces. NYC is now one of the most backward cities in the western world. Truly astounding that UWS parents continue to be OK with this…
The single greatest obstacle to having all our kids doing in person classes every day, is teachers and support staff who can’t come to work. You know what stops them from coming in? Getting COVID!!
Masks protect the kids AND the adults, and we need that protection if we want in person classes to continue. The idea that teachers somehow don’t count as part of the classroom, or that their health doesn’t matter, is selfish, short sighted, and simply cruel.
Or we can keep asking teachers to risk their lives for poor pay and an ungrateful public. But if we really care about our kids, we’ll make our schools a safer and better place for everyone. Education starts with the educators.
Tide has turned Don. You need to move on. You’ve lost.
Agreed. Masks alone cut down the infection rate when no vaccine was available. To call it anti-science is ridiculous. Given that logic, doctors should never wear masks since they are not helping.
Masks are not a guarantee but a very good measure to prevent infection.
I’m fine with taking masks off outdoors so long as social distancing protocols are strictly enforced. Stay six feet away is what the scientists say!
Craig writes, “Stay six feet away is what the scientists say!” No, it is not. That is what they said 2 years ago but this is no longer a valid approach. Early on, it was thought that Covid was spread by viruses in large droplets from person to person by coughs or sneezes, similar to the main way that Flu viruses are spread. Such large droplets fall in a “ballistic” pattern (meaning according to the effects of gravity) and tend to travel no more than up to 8 feet before they fall to the ground. So, 6 foot social distancing seemed like a reasonable compromise at that time. But we have known for well over a year that Covid tends to spread in tiny droplets within a mist and may travel much further, depending on air currents. So best current recommendations are masks indoors but not outdoors nor in well ventilated indoor settings.
The last line of your comment contradicts the information you correctly provide, since the fact that viral particles spread further via aerosols indicates that masking serves as an important preventative measure outdoors & even in well-ventilated areas indoors, since air currents are difficult to predict or determine with certitude.
As virus-containing aerosols spread, the density of infectious viruses within them tend to become more diluted. It generally takes a baseline number of infectious viruses to infect. Below that level, infection tends to be quite rare. (The odds of infection become greater as more an more virus reach the mucus membranes of the respiratory system.) In the outdoors, this dilution of virus particles is much more efficient. Something similar happens indoors if there is good air flow and the potentially infectious viruses become more dispersed.
That’s true, except that a great deal depends on how well the direction of air flow can be managed, which is practically impossible outside — keep in mind that children’s play at recess involves a good deal of movement, to & fro, & interactions, near & far, much different than pedestrians walking down the sidewalk — & difficult to gauge accurately inside (where younger kids, esp., are also often moving about & interacting. Add to that the fact that very fee schools have either decent hvac systems installed or none at all.
I would think another 1-2 years of masking should do the trick
do people realize that some kid are traumatized at this point? A friend in NJ told me his kid was scared to go to school when they droped the mandate – this is not a normal reaction from a kid.
I’m for getting rid of the mask mandate inside and outside.
But, it’s nuts to think that kids being traumatized has anything to do with masks. Kids have access to tons of information. They know there’s a pandemic that is killing people. They know being around other people is high risk.
At the very least, masks have been emotional placebos allowing kids to undertake (what they hear are) high risk activity – i.e., being in a crowded environment.