Friday, May 21, 2021


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New York mask mandate at
daycares and summer camps
could prompt legislative action
Criticism to the New York State mandate has drawn reaction from both Democrats and Republicans wanting to see the guidance reversed or revised.

By Jeff Preval
Calls are growing louder to reverse New York State guidance thychildren 2 years old and older in daycare centers and summer camps must wear masks. Many of these children are not eligible to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers say they want to see changes to the guidance, which caught both parents and child care providers off guard.

"It’s just really hard to think of a 2 or 3-year-old stuck in a mask for nine hours a day. That’s kind of harsh," said Jeannie Morse, owner of Little Rascals Child Care Center in Lockport. There’s been widespread reaction from parents and child care providers to the state’s new mask mandate for day cares and summer camps.

The guidance, which is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says children ages 2 and up need to wear masks, unless they’re doing things such as eating, drinking, swimming or sleeping. The mask mandate has been put in place for children and staff who are not vaccinated. Last summer children were not mandated to wear a mask.

"Most people were understanding there were a few parents that were pretty upset about it, felt that nine hours in a mask for a child was not reasonable," Morse said. At Little Rascals Child Care Center in Lockport on Friday, 2 On Your Side found kids, even 2-year-olds, doing just fine with a mask. "I would’ve never thought the 2s would’ve left it on," Morse said.

Criticism to the mask mandate has drawn reaction from both Democrats and Republicans wanting to see the guidance reversed or revised.

"I think the governor should do the right thing and rescind this directive, or explain why it’s necessary," said State Senator Rob Ortt, a Republican.


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