Indoor masking coming to an end in NY? Hochul expected to make announcement Wednesday

Josh Einiger Image
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Could indoor mask mandates be coming to an end in NY?
The New York Times reports Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to rescind New York's indoor mask mandate Wednesday morning. Josh Einiger has the story.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York's indoor mask mandate could be coming to an end soon, according to reports.

The New York Times reports Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to rescind the state's indoor mask mandate Wednesday morning.

The report comes after two years of masking indoors to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Unlike in many other places in the country, in the five boroughs people have worn masks consistently and redoubled their efforts in December, as the omicron wave hit the city.

But now the infection rate is down. Way down.

"We've not seen these kind of numbers since November 8th," Hochul said.

And so on Wednesday, the Times reports Hochul will end the indoor mask mandate she enacted before the holidays, when so many people were getting sick.

The mandate was set to expire Thursday, and with New Jersey and Connecticut among the handful of states removing their mandates, it was only a matter of time before New York followed suit.

Even while the CDC warns against taking such actions.

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"Right now our CDC guidance has not changed, we have and continue to recommend masking in areas of high and substantial transmission, that is essentially everywhere in the country in public indoor settings," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky

Walensky continues to cite high case counts across the country as a reason not to relax mask mandates, especially in schools.

"Nationwide, only half of eligible kids have been vaccinated," Walensky said.

When it comes to mandatory masking in class, the rest of the Tri-State area has already announced that will end within in the next several weeks.

Hochul convened a call with school superintendents across New York Tuesday night, and participants said it seemed clear some kind of announcement on school mandates is on the horizon.

"It's apparent that the governor, her staff, DOH officials, are having conversation about what would justify a change in mask requirements and what would need to happen to carry that out," said Robert Lowry a Deputy Director at NY Council on School Superintendents.

The COVID pandemic is still far from over, but it looks like the omicron wave is coming to an end.


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