Mayor Adams’ newly minted health commissioner argued Friday that the city should indefinitely maintain its mask mandate for kids younger than 5, striking a more cautious tone than his boss who has recently signaled he wants to scrap the restriction sooner rather than later.
Ashwin Vasan laid out the case for continued coronavirus caution in his first COVID-19 briefing since taking over as the city’s health commissioner earlier this week.
The two primary coronavirus restrictions that remain in effect are the school mask mandate for kids younger than 5 and the vaccine mandate for the city’s private workforce — and Vasan said he believes neither of those requirements should be lifted anytime soon.
“I think it’s indefinite at this point,” Vasan said of the private workforce mandate, which requires all private employees in the Big Apple to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
In terms of the mask mandate for kids younger than 5, Vasan offered a personal plea for why it shouldn’t be rescinded for the time being.
“I would love nothing more than to send my son to daycare without a mask. But as a scientist … I want to keep him safe because he’s not eligible for a vaccine,” Vasan said.
Adams, who lifted the city’s Key2NYC vaccine mandate for indoor activities like dining earlier this month, has stricken a slightly different note in recent days when it comes to rolling back the mandate for toddlers.
When he was approached by a group of angry parents Thursday demanding that he drop the mask mandates for toddlers, Adams told them, “I got this. They’ll be unmasked.”
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