New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announces that the state will end a COVID-19 mandate requiring face coverings in most indoor public settings, but will keep masking rules in place in schools.
The mandate requiring face coverings in most indoor public settings, like grocery stores, shops and offices, was put in place Dec. 10 as the Omicron variant of the virus began infecting huge numbers of New Yorkers. It was set to expire Thursday unless the Democrat’s administration extended it.
Speaking from her office in New York City, Hochul says infection rates have since declined to a level where it is safe to rescind the broad masking order.
“Given the declining cases, given the declining hospitalizations, that is why we feel comfortable to lift this, in effect tomorrow,” Hochul says.
Masks, though, will still be required in many places, including in health care facilities and in schools. Hochul has said she would like to see vaccination rates for children improve before she does away with that statewide mandate, which has been in place since August.