New York Brings Back Statewide Mask Mandate To Slow COVID-19 Spread

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ALBANY – New York’s Governor has announced new steps to crackdown on the spread of COVID-19 this fall, including reviving the state’s mask requirement.

Governor Kathy Hochul Friday announced masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.

She says this major action will address the winter surge comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise statewide to be in alignment with the CDC’s recommendations for communities with substantial and high transmission of the virus.

This determination, officials say, is based on the State’s weekly seven-day case rate as well as increasing hospitalizations. The new business and venue requirements extend to both patrons and staff.

This measure takes effect on Monday, Dec. 13 and will stay in place until Jan. 15, 2022, after which the State will re-evaluate based on current conditions.

“As Governor, my two top priorities are to protect the health of New Yorkers and to protect the health of our economy. The temporary measures I am taking today will help accomplish this through the holiday season. We shouldn’t have reached the point where we are confronted with a winter surge, especially with the vaccine at our disposal, and I share many New Yorkers’ frustration that we are not past this pandemic yet,” Governor Hochul said. “I want to thank the more than 80 percent of New Yorkers who have done the right thing to get fully vaccinated. If others will follow suit, these measures will no longer be necessary.”

Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by 43 percent and hospitalizations have increased by 29 percent. While the percentage of New Yorkers fully vaccinated continues to increase—gaining two percent from Thanksgiving weekend to now—the uptick is not fast enough to completely curb the spread of the virus, particularly among communities with low vaccination coverage.


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