“Every decision we make is with our children’s health and safety in mind. Children between 2 and 4 should continue to wear their masks in school and daycare come Monday,” the Democrat mayor said on Twitter on April 1.
It came after State Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzio earlier that day struck down the city’s mask order for young children. However, an appellate court issued a stay in the lower court’s ruling, allowing the mask mandate to remain intact amid the appeals process.
Porzio stated that the mandate was “absurd” after it was lifted for children aged 5 and older, and characterized it as “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.” That ruling was handed down in response to a lawsuit from a group of parents who sued Adams and New York City agencies.
“Universal masking, therefore, presents one of the strongest, if not the strongest defense against COVID-19 for settings with children ages two to four,” New York City attorneys said in court papers, although numerous studies have shown that young children have exceedingly low COVID-19 death and hospitalization rates compared with other age groups—even compared with older children.
“For these reasons,” the city added, “throughout the pandemic, both the City and New York State had more stringent rules in place for this setting.”