Hochul wants more NY kids vaccinated before lifting school mask mandate

Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 4:31 PM EST
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ALBANY, N.Y. (WCAX) - New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says she wants to see a higher vaccination rate among kids before she lifts mask mandates for schools.

The mandates were ruled unconstitutional but a judge ordered a stay pending an appeal.

Some parents held a protest two weeks ago in New York’s North Country, calling for their school to ditch the mandate.

And as other states around New York, like New Jersey, start to loosen restrictions in schools, parents are once again asking the governor to reconsider.

Hochul says she is optimistic with the current trend in numbers but needs to look at several metrics like vaccination rates and hospital capacities before making any changes.

She says the vaccination rate for 5- to 11-year-olds in the state is only 34% and that is too low.

“I am going to continue to head in that direction, we are hoping to get in that direction, I have said that for weeks. That is our goal but I want to continue to look at the metrics and the one thing I am asking all parents to do and the pediatricians who advise them-- let’s get more children vaccinated so they have the suit of armor they need to be protected, not just against this variant but this is our third or fourth variant now,” said Hochul, D-New York.

The statewide mask mandate requiring masks in public spaces is set to end Thursday. The governor says she will address the mandate on Wednesday.

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