New York Rolls Back COVID-19 Requirements, Ends Mask Mandate

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ALBANY – New York is rolling back certain COVID-19 mitigation requirements, including bringing an end to the revived statewide mask mandate, leaving future requirements up to localities.

Governor Kathy Hochul confirmed the news during a briefing on Wednesday, saying the mandate will end on Thursday.

That mandate previously required businesses to ask customers for proof of vaccination, or for them to wear masks indoors, except when eating or drinking.

Hochul issued the mask-or-vaccine order for all indoor businesses in December 2021 as the Omicron variant caused a large increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. That wave of new cases peaked about a month ago, and has since receded.

Two weeks ago, a judge struck down the mandate, saying the Department of Health did not have the authority to put it in place, but an appeals court judge allowed it to stay in effect.

Hochul, earlier this week, met with teachers, school superintendents and parents to thank them for keeping schools safe and open; and to discuss how to continue to “smartly” protect against COVID-19.

She says the mask requirement will still be in place at state facilities and school and childcare centers.


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