Protesters rally against mask mandates in Pittsford

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WHEC) — Parents and students are rallying against mask mandates in Pittsford Tuesday.

The "Roc Off the Masks Rally" started at 2:30 p.m. at the Four Corners of Pittsford on Monroe Avenue and Main Street.

With COVID case rates dropping, organizers say they believe it’s time for mask choice, saying requiring masks at schools is impacting kids’ socialization skills and that masking in schools has been ineffective at controlling the virus while hindering teachers’ ability to instruct students.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s statewide mask mandate for schools was set to expire on Feb. 21, though just a couple of hours after the anti-mandate rally in Pittsford started, News10NBC learned that the governor plans to extend it through February break and that she will re-evaluate afterward.

That mandate, as well as her statewide "mask-or-proof-of-vaccination" mandate, are tied up in a court battle after a New York State Supreme Court Judge ruled the mandate unconstitutional two weeks ago.

The state filed an appeal of the decision, and the process is still underway.

A Public Health and Health Planning Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 10 and it is expected that the decision on whether to extend the mandate or not will be discussed.

Monday, the governors of Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon all announced plans to lift their masks-in-schools mandates in February or March.