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Parents voice frustrations over mask mandate for children

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JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) -- Despite the statewide mask mandate for fully vaccinated people being retracted this week, a new one was added for the younger population.

Children under 12-years old are not yet eligible to get the vaccine but must wear masks when indoors.

Under the latest mandate, children 2-years-and-older must wear masks when at daycare or camps.

Parents say this is a reversal of what the guidance has been throughout the pandemic.

"Our child has been going to daycare since September of 2020 without masks...why now are you telling me that our child has to have a mask? It doesn't make any sense," Kevin Singer said.

He's the father of a 3-year-old and says he doesn't want his son to be forced to wear a mask while in an environment crucial to the development of children.

"They need that social bond with their peers and with their teachers and this is not okay to do this to them," he said.

As the summer months near, so do summer camps.

Kopernik Observatory Director Drew Deskur said they are following the science and working to ensure that everyone is safe at their camps this summer.

"I think just giving it a little more time and spending a little more time with the masks wouldn't hurt. We just have to knock down any opportunities for variants to present themselves," he said.

Kienan Dixon

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