BUFFALO, N.Y. — After days of complaints and the threat of lawsuits against the state, the policy requiring children between two and five years old to wear masks at daycares in New York State is being changed.
Late Monday, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services along with the Department of Health released a statement to Two On Your Side saying they are revising the policy and that they are only encouraging children between the ages of two and five to wear a mask at daycares.
The original policy was in line with the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of now, those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine have to be 12-years of age or older.
Below is the entire statement sent to Two On Your Side:
NYS OCFS & DOH Joint Statement on Revised Mask Guidance for Child Care Programs
We thank the providers who have worked so hard since the start of the pandemic to remain open to serve the families of those who could not stay home, and we recognize their valiant efforts in serving working families who need quality, reliable and safe child care.
Both agencies understand how difficult it is to require the youngest children to wear masks and have jointly agreed to revise guidance allowing child care providers to continue the practices and protocols that have been in place since the start of the pandemic by encouraging, not requiring, children aged 2-5 to wear masks, effective immediately.
The safety of the children in child care programs is of paramount importance. As more families are returning to work, New York State is investing federal funds in stabilizing the industry and expanding child care programs throughout the state, especially in underserved areas.
We strongly encourage any remaining child care staff who have not been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID.