Hochul hints NY mask mandate could be lifted as protests continue across NYC

Coronavirus update for New York

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Monday, February 7, 2022
Hochul hints NY mask mandate could be lifted as protests continue
A group of New York City employees marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Monday morning ahead of their possible termination. CeFaan Kim has the latest details.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Gov. Kathy Hochul indicated that New York's indoor vaccine or mask mandated could be lifted by Wednesday, but is hinting that the school mask mandate could remain in place a little longer.

This comes as hundreds of New York City employees marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Monday morning ahead of their possible termination this Friday due to their vaccination status.

They marched from Metro Tech in Downtown Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and then made their way over to City Hall.

With a key deadline looming, protests are erupting again as city employees who are not fully vaccinated will be terminated Friday.

Some 4,000 municipal employees still need to submit their vaccination cards by Friday to keep their jobs.

The mayor made his stance on the issue clear.

"We have to adhere to what we put out," Adams said. "They're not being terminated, they are quitting. Because if the rules of you being employed means vaccinated and you're not that is a decision you're making not a decision we're making as a city. I say don't quit on New York. Take your vaccine and booster shot."

Meanwhile, there could be changes coming soon to some of the statewide COVID mandates.

The mandate that requires a mask or proof vaccination status at indoor businesses is set to expire on February 10 in New York.

On Wednesday, Gov. Hochul said she will update the state's indoor vaccine or mask mandate for businesses, the day before the rule is set to expire.

"We put some protections in place to help our workplaces, help our employees and customers," Hochul said. "We will be having a conversation about that, if you can just hold on until Wednesday's news conference."

And Hochul said "we are going to assess our situation here in New York," regarding masks in schools, noting New Jersey announced it will lift its school mask mandate next month.

"I'm going to continue to head in that direction, we are hoping to get to that, I've said that for weeks that is our goal," Hochul said.

The school mask mandate for New York State expires on February 21.

However, Hochul said she would like to see the vaccination rate among younger students continue to rise before lifting the mandate.

Meantime, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said his state's mask mandate for schools would be lifted on March 7 and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he recommends lifting his state's school mask mandate on Feb. 28.

The infection rate has plummeted in New York State. The infection rate is down to just 3.5%, which is the lowest since omicron started to affect our area.

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