New York City

NYC Expands School Vaccine Requirement to ‘High-Risk' Activities

Masks will be required for all students and staff when school starts on Sept. 13

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The school year starts Monday for public schools across New York City, and the city's mayor has a new vaccine requirement for students 12 and above.

Students who participate in what the city considers "high-risk" activities will now be required to show proof of vaccination in order to participate, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.

The newest mandate mostly covers performing arts activities, like dance, band, chorus, musical theater and cheerleading. A complete list of impacted activities was not immediately provided.

De Blasio stressed the mandate is for extra curriculars only as does not apply for performing arts focused schools where many of the activities under the mandate are "required subjects."

Any participating students will need to get at least one dose of a vaccine, de Blasio said on radio station WNYC. His announcement follows one on the same program weeks prior for student athletes in "high-risk" sports.

Asked if the city would follow the direction taken by Los Angeles to mandate vaccines for all eligible students the mayor said that step isn't necessary for New York City.

"It's not on the table now," he told WNYC's Brian Lehrer pointing to a rising vaccination rate among students. The mayor said Friday that two-thirds of the city's 12-17 age group has been vaccinated.

"But for the other third who have not yet got vaccinated I want to say to their parents, do us all a tremendous favor, do the right thing get your child vaccinated. It's free, it's easy, it's everywhere. It's going to be in schools next week. Seven hundred schools will have vaccination in school all week long next week," the mayor said.

Masks will be required for all students and staff when school starts on Sept. 13, but while the mayor has urged all New Yorkers who are eligible for COVID-19 shots to get them, vaccination is not required either for school staff or for students over 12.

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