ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Masks will no longer be required in schools across New York State starting March 2. This was announced by New York State Governor Kathy Hochul in response to declining COVID-19 rates during a live briefing on Sunday, February 27.

New York state’s COVID-19 numbers are continuing to decline, which previously prompted Governor Hochul to lift the mask mandate for indoor businesses on February 9. According to Governor Hochul, the decision was made after monitoring data, providing millions of tests to students in schools, and consulting with experts with the CDC, school experts, and members of the educational community.

The announcement comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their mask guidelines. According to the new guidelines, masks are not required in counties with low to medium risk assessments.

According to Governor Hochul, counties can still choose to enforce masks in schools, however, the decision should not vary between school districts within a county. Additionally, Hochul reminded parents that it is their decision whether or not their children choose to wear a mask.

However, New York’s mask requirement will remain in effect at the following places:

  • State-regulated health care settings
  • State-regulated adult care facilities and nursing homes
  • Correctional facilities
  • Homeless shelters
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Buses and bus stations
  • Trains and train stations
  • Subways and subway stations
  • Planes and airports