Alert Center: Hudson Valley sounds off on continued indoor mask mandate
Some Hudson Valley parents are calling for New York to eliminate its indoor mask mandate for schools and businesses.
The pressure for Gov. Kathy Hochul to allow children to go to school without masks is growing as Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that they plan to scrap their mandates in the next month.
New York's indoor mask mandate for businesses expires Feb. 10, and on Feb. 21 in schools, so Gov. Hochul is now deciding whether to extend it or end it.
Hochul is speaking with school leaders across the state and the Hudson Valley today. Mount Vernon Schools Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hamilton is attending the meeting and agrees with the governor that it is too soon to remove the mask mandates from schools. "I'm of the view that students should wear their masks until we increase students that are vaccinated. So, I am pro-mask, and I think it's important for our students and staff to wear the masks until we get a better handle on this...and while the numbers are coming down dramatically, I don't think we're quite there yet."
Hochul said Monday she would only end the indoor mask mandate for schools if more children get vaccinated against COVID-19.
In the Mid-Hudson region, 74.1% of teens ages 12 to 17 have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Only 36.1% of children ages 5 to 11 have one dose, according to the New York Health Department.
The governor is expected to give an update on the indoor mask mandate Wednesday, but says no decision on schools will be made at that time.