Pushback over daycare mask mandate: ‘Incredibly disappointed and shocked ‘

Coronavirus

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Pushback over New York State’s mask mandate for kids as young as two years old in daycare and camp settings continues.

“We were incredibly disappointed and shocked when we got the guidelines last Wednesday that our children after 14 months of being unmasked are required now to be masked,” said On My Way Childcare Owner Peggy Fuentes.

Parents say it can be quite the challenge to get toddlers to mask up.

“Two- and three-year-olds are still wearing diapers. How are they expected to keep a mask on?” said Tara Broderick.

There’s also concerns among providers about speech development.

“We have students that, they’re concerned about developing stutters or other concerns that would potentially have longer term effects on them,” said Tiny Town of Colonie Daycare Owner Kristen Blais.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have spoken out against the policy. Democrat State Senator Michelle Hinchey says the Department of Health “needs to act immediately to reverse its new and unreasonable requirement.” 

“If this was the scientific smart thing, where was this guidance? How come it hasn’t been in place for the better part of the last year?” said NYS Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.

We’ve reached out to the Department of Health to see if they have any comment or any plans to reverse the rule but have not heard back. 

The governor has said the state is following federal guidance.

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