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COVID Latest: New York Issues Statewide School Mask Mandate, City Continues Push To Vaccinate Students Before Classes Start

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New mask policies and COVID vaccine requirements are taking effect in New York.

State health officials are requiring face masks at all public and private schools, while US Open officials reversed course and will require fans to show proof of vaccination before entering the grounds.

Mayor Bill de Blasio served up a last-minute vaccine mandate to the US Open on Friday after criticism mounted over the tournament's decision not to require vaccinations, mask or even a COVID test.

"If there's no screening for vaccination, or even a negative test, this is an extremely high-risk event," said Mark Levine, chairman of the New York City Council Health Committee.

Fans 12 and older will now have to show proof of having at least one dose of the vaccine in order to enter the tennis center grounds. It comes after the city informed the USTA that vaccine guidelines must be followed.

Meanwhile, the New York State Department of Health issued an emergency regulation requiring face masks inside all public and private school buildings.

The order applies to students, teachers, staff, contractors and visitors from pre-K through 12th grade, regardless of vaccination status.

Sixty percent of city residents are now fully vaccinated, with sharp increases among 12 to 17-year-olds.

"What happens in the schools reflects the larger reality of the city," de Blasio said.

That's why the race to vaccinate is intensifying with less than three weeks to go before the school year.

The city is renewing its strategy to center the vaccination push around houses of worship by deploying 50 mobile vaccination units to various sites this weekend.

"Faith leaders speaking up to get our young people vaccinated is going to be a difference maker," said de Blasio.

So far, the city is on a positive trajectory. According to the CDC, the vaccination rate for 12 to 17-year-olds in New York City is 9% higher than the national average.

CBS2's Christina Fan contributed to this report. Editor's note: The story was published Aug. 28.


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