New York Governor Extends Mask Mandate

The face coverings requirement for all indoor public places that don’t require Covid vaccinations is being extended until at least February 10.

A sign in New York, December 13, 2021. AP/Seth Wenig

NEW YORK (AP) — New York State’s mask mandate that requires face coverings in all indoor public places unless the businesses or venues require Covid-19 vaccinations will be extended until at least February 10, Governor Hochul announced Friday.

“We’ll have a temporary extension of our business mask or vaccine policy,” Ms. Hochul said at a news briefing on Long Island. The Democratic governor said the mandate, first announced December 10, has been “a critical tool” in driving COVID-19 numbers down.

Coronavirus infections spiked in New York around Christmas, thanks to the emergence of the highly infectious omicron variant, but have declined in recent weeks. New reported Covid-19 infections dropped from almost 70,000 a day in New York during the week that ended January 12 to about 20,000 during the week that ended January 26.

Ms. Hochul said the mask mandate could be lifted after February 10 if case counts keep declining.

“We’ll be extending that just through February 10,” she said. “Probably a couple days before then we’ll be evaluating. But if we continue on this rapid trend downward we’ll be in a good place. If it levels off or something else happens, I need that flexibility.”

The New York Sun

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