This week, Governor Cuomo lifted all COVID-19 restrictions. New York State is now fully reopened. With that welcome news, the governor must take the next step, and most important step. He needs to do what parents and educators have been begging him to do and end the mask mandate on school-aged children.
With 70 percent of New Yorkers having received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, positivity rates under 0.5 percent and the incoming summer heat making it harder to breathe with a face covering on, there is no longer any need for children to wear masks.
Large-scale venues, restaurants and businesses are allowed to reopen at full capacity. An overwhelming majority of adults are vaccinated. Kids 12 and up are eligible for the vaccine. Toddlers and preschool-aged students are not required to wear masks.
The governor still wields unilateral power. He should use it to lift the mask policy, then let local school districts, parents and health officials make the appropriate mask policies for their schools going forward. If he refuses, then the state Legislature should immediately reconvene to repeal these unnecessary restrictions on school children.
It’s long past time to do the right thing and unmask our children.