February 28, 2022
Sunday Statement From Governor Kathy Hochul: “We believe that by Wednesday, we’ll be able to have a situation where we’ll have the lifting of the mask requirement and children, that includes children who are in childcare centers, ages two and up who are covered right now. Now this is an important point to make – we will lift the statewide requirement based on all the data that I’ve just outlined. However, there are some states, some counties, in the State of New York where they have a higher rate of transmission. We will allow them the flexibility to determine what’s best for their county.
“We would encourage them to take a look at this and follow the CDC, but this will no longer be a mandate. Not just the county, only leaving it up to the counties now. Also this is up to parents, individual parents have their own knowledge of their children, they know their own children’s health, they know their tolerance for the masks, they know whether for them, if they’ve got an underlying health condition, that they would want to keep the mask on.
“But again, this is about what the parents now want to do beginning Wednesday with respect to their children’s health. But I want to send a loud message that we will have no tolerance in our school system or anywhere for any harassment or bullying of any child or their parents.
“Because social media is also a platform for bullying, adults and children. They will not have any tolerance for people who are questioning someone’s own personal decision to do what they want. If people want to continue wearing masks, they are allowed to continued wearing masks. And I don’t want any issues related to that.
“And I want to be very clear on that. We will not stand for any bullying or ostracization or harassment of an individual or a business or anyone who chooses to wear a mask as we’re still going through this. And we are going to remain vigilant. We are going to continue distributing masks. We’re going to continue distributing test kits. We’re going to continue our aggressive vaccination strategies, making sure that there’s plenty of opportunity for anyone, including our students to be vaccinated and boosted.”