New York City schools chancellor announces end to outdoor mask mandate

When students return to school on Monday, Feb. 28, they no longer need to wear masks outside.
New York City Schools Chancellor David C. Banks announced Friday that starting Monday, masks or face coverings will no longer be required when outside on school grounds. Masks are still required for all students, staff and visitors inside school buildings.
The Department of Education says the safety of students and staff continues to be a top priority, and the decision follows the success of the ‘Stay Safe, Stay Open’ plan.
“Throughout the pandemic, our schools have remained some of the safest spaces for our students and staff, thanks to our gold standard health and safety protocol,” said Banks. “I am so pleased that we are able to make this exciting announcement and safely allow students and staff to remove their masks when outdoors at NYC public schools.”
The department says it will continue to work with the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and Health + Hospitals to monitor case rates and vaccination rates.
The Department of Education continues to maintain stringent COVID protocols, including increased ventilation, distancing when possible, a daily screener to make sure those with symptoms do not come to school and the distribution of test kits—all designed to identify persons with COVID rapidly for isolation and reduce possible transmission of COVID in schools.