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County Executive Press Releases

Posted on: February 16, 2022

McLaughlin Renews Call for State to Remove Mask Mandate for Children

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin today renewed his call for the state to remove the mask mandate for children, saying the state delay in ending the mandate is unfair to children and families.

Cases across the state and in the county have shown lower numbers of cases among children in recent weeks, noted McLaughlin. That drop further boosts calls for kids to not be required to wear masks in school, he said. 

McLaughlin last week asked for the state to remove the mask mandate for all residents, noting the drop in cases. The announcement by McLaughlin came before Gov. Hochul’s announcement on February 9 that masks could be removed in most settings, except for children in schools.

Educators across the state in recent days have asked the state to provide metrics or goals as to when masks can be taken off children. Gov. Hochul has indicated she will review the mask mandate for students on March 4.

“Our children are losing another school year to mask mandates, and are unfairly bearing the brunt of the state’s COVID-19 policies,” said McLaughlin.

“This is hurting kids socially and developmentally. Children are the least likely to get COVID-19 or be required to be hospitalized. The state needs to follow the lead of neighboring states and state across the nation remove masks for all immediately,” added McLaughlin.

The county continues to see lower caseloads and less residents hospitalized for COVID-19, noted McLaughlin and Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas.

“We are continuing to see new cases decline and new hospitalizations decline, which is good news in Rensselaer County. The trend of lower cases continues,” said Wachunas.

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