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Stay issued after judge struck down New York City's school mask mandate for children under age 5

NYC school mask mandate for 2-4-year-olds stays in place 00:26

NEW YORK Mayor Eric Adams says children under 5 years old should prepare to wear masks at schools and day cares on Monday.

A stay has been issued after a Staten Island judge struck down the so-called "toddler mask mandate."

Earlier Friday, the judge ruled the mask mandate for 2-4-year-olds was unconstitutional. The Adams administration appealed after changing its mind on lifting the rule, which was supposed to go into effect Monday, citing an increase of COVID-19 cases.

"We're seeing a slight uptick and we want to be prepared, not panic. That's the theme, what we're doing here New Yorkers. We want to be prepared, not panic," Adams said.

Richmond County Supreme Court Judge Ralph Porzio said the mask mandate was "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable" and is "void and unenforceable."

Watch Marcia Kramer's report

Mayor Adams says kids should keep faces covered, but judge strikes down mask mandate 02:17

Attorney Michael Chessa filed the suit. 

"It means that it's lifted. It means the parents now have the choice as to whether or not to send their kids to school with a mask or not. The mandate is officially lifted," Chessa said earlier Friday.

As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reports, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said officials decided to keep the mask mandate for 2-4-year-olds due to an increase in an Omicron variant and because children in that age group are unvaccinated. 

"This afternoon, we're asking for a bit more patience and a bit of grace. Cases are definitely rising, and its gotten our attention. They will continue to rise over the next few weeks, and it's likely that over three weeks, we will rise to a different level of overall risk," Vasan said. 

And that's not all. Officials are recommending that all New Yorkers wear masks in indoor settings. 

"It's time for preparation, not panic. You'll notice that I myself am wearing a mask. I'm doing it because it's what I'm recommending what New Yorkers do in public, indoor settings, especially if you're not certain about the vaccination status of those around you," Vasan said. 


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