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Suspension of Key to NYC and End to Indoor Mask Mandate for City Public School Students Grades K-12

March 7, 2022

On Friday March 4th, NYC Mayor Eric Adams announced the suspension of the Key to NYC program and the end of the indoor mask mandate in city public schools for students in grades K-12 beginning on Monday, March 7th.

With the suspension of the Key to NYC Program, proof of vaccination is no longer required to enter indoor venues such as restaurants, gyms, and entertainment spaces. Although not mandatory, venues may still require proof of vaccination if desired.

Additionally, K-12 students will no longer be required to wear masks in city public schools, although they are permitted to wear them if they wish. However, the other COVID-19 protocols, such as increased ventilation, daily health screening, and test kit distributions, will remain in effect in schools. Masks will still be required for all settings with children under 5 years old, including programs contracted by the New York City Department of Education with 3- and 4-year-old children as well as 3K and 4K classrooms in district schools.

All New York City COVID-19 protocols other than Key to NYC and the K-12 public school mask mandate will remain in effect. This includes the requirement that employees be vaccinated to work in-person in New York City.

Mayor Adams also announced a new NYC COVID-19 alert tracking system. This is a four-level system which informs readers whether the NYC alert level is very high, high, medium, or low. Precautions and recommended government actions vary depending on the alert level.

These are relatively new issues which continue to evolve in these unprecedent times of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to follow the progress of how the law advances and issue future alerts on relevant developments.

If you have questions regarding any implications of this announcement or its potential effect on your higher education institution, school, or business, please feel free to contact James G. Ryan at (516) 357-3750 or, Dina L. Vespia at (516) 357-3726 or, Jennifer A. McLaughlin at (516) 357-3889 or, and Jennifer E. Seeba at (516) 296-9173 or

Thank you to Samantha Schneider for her assistance with this client alert.

Please note that this is a general overview of the law and no content within this excerpt constitutes legal advice. Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship between the sender and recipient.

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