New York Imposes Masks for 2-Year-Olds and Above in Childcare Facilities

Similar mandates for other state-regulated facilities
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly is an assignment editor and world news reporter based in Australia. She has a background in optometry. Contact her at
September 16, 2021 Updated: September 16, 2021

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced that state-regulated childcare centers across the state must mandate masks for children aged 2 and above, as well as staff and all visitors.

A similar measure was announced in May this year by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The pushback against the mask mandate, which also applied to those as young as 2 years old, was so vocal that New York state rescinded the order just days later.

The new mask mandate for childcare facilities across New York state is effective immediately, Hochul said.

“Starting today, we’re going to require masks in childcare and daycare centers, because if you’re watching the national news, the scariest announcements coming out every single morning are the number of children now contracting COVID,” the governor said.

She added: “We don’t have a vaccine available for 5 to 11-year-olds. I am very anxious to get this approved. And as soon as it is, we’ll be working with parents and pediatricians and schools to make sure that the children are vaccinated, but we’re not hearing that that will occur for a number of months yet.”

Similar mask mandates will apply for state-run congregate facilities, mental health facilities, and substance abuse facilities, Hochul said.

Hochul previously announced on Aug. 24—just after taking her ceremonial oath of office—that there would be universal mask mandates in schools, and that she was seeking to ultimately impose checks to ensure that all school staff are vaccinated or get weekly COVID-19 testing.

On Wednesday, Hochul urged all New Yorkers over 12 years of age to get vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.

She previously allocated $65 million in state funding to local governments to distribute and administer booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine when they become available.

She said on Wednesday that local health agencies have identified over 200 vaccination sites to administer booster shots, with more to come.

She said, in anticipation of booster shots: “I just want the message to go out, be aware of when you had your last shot. Eight months later, start talking about going to see your doctor, a pharmacist, or take advantage of one of our … mass vaccination sites. We’ll make sure all the information gets out.”

Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly is an assignment editor and world news reporter based in Australia. She has a background in optometry. Contact her at