ALBANY, N.Y. (UPDATED) – Masks are already mandated in schools across the state and Gov. Kathy Hochul says starting Wednesday, they will also be required for everyone in child care and other congregate health settings regulated by the state, regardless of vaccination status.
The mask mandate now applies to any day care centers, home-based group family and family child care programs registered with the state Office of Children and Family Services.
"With the Delta variant on the rise, requiring masks at state-regulated child care, mental health, and substance abuse facilities is a key part of our broader strategy for slowing the spread of the virus, reopening our economy safely, and protecting vulnerable members of our population," Governor Hochul said. "For children under 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, masks are the best line of defense against COVID-19 infection. This new mask requirement ensures that children in our child care facilities receive the same protection as children in our schools."
According to Hochul, these requirements put New York child care facilities in compliance with the CDC guidance issued in July recommending universal indoor masking for those 2 and older.
Hochul says masks will also be required at other congregate facilities like certified residential and day programs, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, substance abuse programs, juvenile detention programs, juvenile residential facilities, congregate foster care programs, runaway and homeless youth, domestic violence and other shelter programs.
The mask mandates apply to anyone able to medically tolerate a masks, regardless of vaccination status.