NY childcare programs will not have to enforce universal masking starting Wednesday

[anvplayer video=”5093082″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Starting Wednesday, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (NYSOCFS) will not be requiring child care programs to enforce universal masking.

New York schools will not be required to enforce universal making either starting Wednesday, with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s statewide indoor mask mandate for schools being allowed to expire, and the decision being returned to county governments and individual school districts.

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke got ahold of the NYSOCFS guidance that is being sent to daycare providers ahead of Wednesday.

The guidance says that while universal masking will no longer be required, there are still cases where an individual may be required to wear a mask, including when someone has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and must wear a mask for 10 days, those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised or those who are simply more comfortable wearing one.

The guidance also still calls for certain isolation and quarantine precautions to be taken if someone had been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Click here for more information on isolation and quarantine. Click here for more information on the NYSOCFS’s mask guidance.

The NYSOCFS sent News10NBC the following statement:

"Given the dramatic 98% decrease in COVID-19 since the Omicron surge earlier this year, as well new guidance issued by the CDC, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services will no longer require that masks be worn in child care programs, except in specific instances as detailed in the guidance below, effective March 2, 2022. Parents should feel free to have their children continue to wear masks if they desire, and we will work with our child care providers to keep our programs healthy and safe. We thank our child care providers for their tremendous commitment and patience while serving the working families of New York State throughout the pandemic."