New York City

NYC Drops Vaccine Requirement to Attend High School Proms

Grace Gardens Event Center employees check temperatures of young people attending prom at the Grace Gardens Event Center in El Paso, Texas, on May 7, 2021. Around 2,000 attended the outdoor event at the private venue after local school districts announced they would not host proms this year.
Paul Ratje/AP

New York City says it's safe to dance.

The city's mayor and top education official announced schools would lift the COVID-19 vaccine requirement previously needed to attend prom.

Although proof of vaccine is no longer needed to dance this year, officials are encouraging students in attendance to wear a mask.

“I am thrilled that, starting this year, every one of our young people will have the chance to celebrate all of their hard work with a prom and graduation, regardless of vaccination status,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.

The NYC Department of Education says it continues to monitor COVID-19 rates and understands frustrations around the vaccine mandate to attend prom, but the requirement isn't going anywhere for now. NBC New York's Gus Rosendale reports.

The decision to drop the requirement for students was made in consultation with the city's health department, Adams and Chancellor David Banks said.

Monday's announcement follows a prior change to policy that similarly lifted the vaccine requirement for students attending graduation. Guests attending the end-of-year ceremony will still be required to be vaccinated to enter school buildings.

“Graduation and prom are such momentous occasions in the lives of our young people, which is why I am so excited that thanks to the hard work of our school communities, we have come to a point where we can safely take this next step," Banks said Monday.

The COVID-19 transmission rate in New York City is up 20% in the last week and nearly 90% in the last month, to the same levels as late January.

The city already raised its alert level to "medium" last week, and on Thursday, Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan told CNN all options could be on the table -- including the return of a mask mandate -- if things continue getting worse.

Copyright NBC New York
Contact Us