New York City Mayor Eric Adams is pulling back the mask mandate for children under the age of five as the city continues to keep a lid on COVID-19 cases.

On Tuesday, Adams said at a press conference that the city has become a "low risk environment", enough so that officials deemed it safe enough to pull back the mask mandate. In making this decision, Adams insists that his administration is following the science in going forward with this step.

“The only way you do it right is to follow the science and follow the numbers," the mayor said.

New York, once the poster child of the United States' struggle with COVID-19, has rebounded sharply from the days when the city that never sleeps was forced to shelter in place in 2020. According to the city's health department, the city recorded a 7-day average of 742 COVID-19 cases as of March 19 compared to the 43,772 average seen in the first days of Mayor Adams' administration in January. Only six deaths were recorded from the virus within this same time.

On vaccinations, approximately 77.5% of New York City residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Among children between the ages of five to 17, a total of 57.3% have been fully inoculated.

While Adams is withdrawing the mandate, he said that it would not happen until April 4 and wearing a mask will still remain optional after the repeal.

Adams’ decision follows statewide moves by Gov. Kathy Hochul, who allowed the state mask mandate to expire in February. As for mask mandates for schools, Hochul allowed it to end on March 2 but left in place flexibility for local jurisdictions to reimpose them if needed.