BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Parents and daycare operators are questioning the latest guidance handed down by the CDC and New York State that now requires young children over two years of age to wear face makes all day at daycare.
“It just really caught us off guard,” remarked Shane Prouty, parent.
Parents, like Prouty of Hamburg, says he's very surprised by the new requirement.
The new rule took effect immediately.
“It’s just not good for children to be walking around — especially inside and have a mask on their face for that long period of time,” Prouty said.
Prouty says he had to tell his five year old daughter who is in a Hamburg area daycare center that she must now wear a mask.
“What happened today when you brought your child to daycare?” Buckley asked.
“We told her last night, 'hey you've got to do this' — she's like ‘oh, I really have to do this’ — it's disappointing,” Prouty recalled.
Some parents took too Facebook to post their outrage.
Kelly Marie Crance calling it “insane”.
Crance says she has a toddler in daycare.
“I don't know how she's going to be putting a mask on now — I know we took her to a museum once — she wouldn't even keep it on for ten minutes,” described Crance.
“I was really shocked,” remarked Angelic Holt, owner, Scholar Toddler Daycare in Buffalo.
Holt says she had to mask up six toddlers at her day care center Thursday morning.
“We’re a year and a half into this thing and toddlers — they haven't been forced to mask up this whole time, so I just want to know what changed? What information these leaders have that we don't know about?”, questions Holt.
Holt says she is now questioning where the progress has been made in the fight against COVID.
“We need answers. You can not put out a nationwide memo to put these changes in without explaining to us why because at the ended of the day — we deserve to know these parents deserve to know,” Holt said. “It’s so confusing — I’m just at a loss for words.”
“They’re not state guidelines, they’re federal guidelines and we tend to follow the federal guidelines — I understand the science — I understand the data and that's what drove the federal government to those guidelines,” stated Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Governor Cuomo appearing in Buffalo Thursday was asked by our 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Ashley Rowe about this new guidance.
“We working with child care providers to see how state can help, but it's a federal guideline based on the science,” replied Cuomo.
Dr. Thomas Russo, at UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine, says since the young children at daycare are not yet vaccinated and often in doors, mask use is “important to protect” themselves and others.
"Kids can get infected and transmit to others. I have always felt this group should be masked indoors," replied Dr. Russo.
The New York State Health Department referred our inquiry for an explanation to the State Office of Child and Family Services.
The agency issued this statement:
"The state guidance is consistent with updated CDC guidance, which says children ages two and older should wear masks. Children under 12 are not yet eligible to receive the COVID vaccine, but as we know, they can still get and spread the virus, so it is important that we protect children’s health until they become vaccine eligible. The guidance allows for children to be unmasked outside under certain conditions, where the spread of the virus is less likely. Child care providers are encouraged to schedule as much outdoor programming as possible, especially now that warmer weather is here.
Child care programs are required to report infection data to the state weekly. The state’s child care programs continue to report COVID cases in children even as the overall infection rate is going down. State regulators will assist child care providers with complying with the guidance."
Office of Children and Family Services
The Child Care Resource Network issued this statement calling the guidance "another roadblock for a struggling but critical industry” and is demanding a voice at the table when these regulations are being discussed.
Another parent, Andy Smith, Akron, has created a gofundme page in an attempt to raise funds for a possible lawsuits.
"We need to raise 25,000 for lawyer fees as Todd Aldinger is willing to represent us from the law firm of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. He is responsible for the suits regarding other school districts and restaurants earlier this year. Let's make a difference and use our voice," wrote Smith on the page.