NYC Public Advocate's Statement On The Lifting Of City, State Covid-19 Safety Measures

February 28th, 2022

Press Release

"We know that the path forward in pandemic management requires risk assessment, and the gradual removal of some measures as we work to find a new normalcy that works for New Yorkers. The decisions to lift safety measures that have helped to protect New Yorkers amid new waves and new variants need to be guided by the science, not the calendar.

"Given my continued concerns about removing masking requirements in schools before properly assessing any increase in spread following the winter recess, I am relieved the mayor is taking time to account for this risk before following the governor in changing policy, and urge him to provide clarity, transparency, and clear communication on what standards determine a shift. It is also critical that any change comes alongside addressing problematic, pervasive issues with ventilation in schools. I have additional concerns related to the disparities in vaccination rates and school funding across different communities within our city, and the city must address these issues to ensure that all students in all neighborhoods are kept safe.

"It would be unnecessary and unwise to rapidly remove vaccine screening requirements in restaurants and other venues across the city simultaneously. Removing multiple layers of protection at once by eliminating mask and vaccine requirements now compounds the complications and risks, especially with existing vaccine discrepancies. It is important to assess the impacts of each new measure before rushing to the next.

"It is true that New Yorkers have stepped up and kept one another safe by getting vaccinated – at the same time, the Key2NYC screenings have had great benefit in limiting the spread of COVID in our city, and in helping New Yorkers feel safe and comfortable patronizing our businesses as we move forward in economic recovery. Moving away from these vital protections that helped us get to this point, too quickly, all at once, risks a repeat of some of the mistakes our city and state have made in the last two years.

"I urge New Yorkers to continue to do what we know works to protect one another, and New York’s executives to move forward only in a way that ensures we don’t end up going backward."

Our Office

David N. Dinkins Municipal Building
1 Centre Street 15th Floor North
New York, NY 10007


Hotline: (212) 669-7250

Fax: (888) 409-0287*

Text: (833) 933-1692

*Our fax number has changed temporarily while we upgrade our infrastructure
© 2024 Copyright: Office of the New York City Public Advocate
Privacy Policy