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Summerscape on Loon Lake By Tim McCarthy

Masks off! Governor Hochul announces end to indoor mask requirements, schools next?

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New York State Governor addresses the state on what is next in the effort to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19

As the latest wave of coronavirus quickly subsides, New Yorker will no longer face an indoor mask requirement, effective Thursday February 10th. Governor Kathy Hochul addressed the public today and did a extensive review of the mitigation efforts the state has put in place since late 2021. In a review of nearly every major metric from positive tests rates to hospitalizations, Hochul pointed out the dramatic improvements over the last sixty days.

Governor Hochul went on to praise New Yorkers for cooperating with the effort and announced that the indoor mask requirements for private businesses is ending at midnight tonight. Private business owners may or may not require masks of customers with the following exceptions where masks will still be required:

  • State-regulated health care settings
  • State-regulated adult health care facilities and nursing homes
  • Correctional facilities
  • Schools and childcare centers
  • Homeless shelters
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Buses, bus stations, trains, train stations, subway, subway stations, planes, and airports

The end of the requirement means that private businesses may still choose to demand customers use a face covering, but won’t be compelled by state law or face a penalty for non-compliance. Counties, cities, and businesses will be able to opt into the mask-or-vaccine requirement if they so choose. 

Yesterday Hochul held a symposium with educational stakeholders about the future of mask requirements in NYS schools and colleges. As other states are ending the school mask requirements, Hochul hinted that her decision will be final after the upcoming winter break, or February 25 for most school districts.

Read the Governors full statement:

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