Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves New York State and it’s Mask mandate.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul will drop New York’s indoor mask mandate on Wednesday which will end a requirement that businesses ask customers for proof of full vaccination or require mask wearing at all times, and marking a turning point in the state’s coronavirus response, according to three people briefed on her decision.
The mandate was set to expire on Thursday and would have required renewing.
Hochul’s decision will let the mask mandate lapse just as a crushing winter surge in coronavirus cases is finally receding. But it was not yet clear whether the governor would renew or drop a separate mask mandate in New York schools that is set to expire in two weeks.
The decision will eliminate a rule that prompted legal and interpersonal clashes with wearing mask, especially in conservative parts of New York.
Last week, govenors took their concerns to the White House. As members of the National Governors Association gathered for a meeting in the East Room, several asked President Joe Biden to provide clear guidelines for their states to move from the crisis footing of a pandemic to a recognition that the virus was here to stay and that it could be managed without completely upending daily life.
In New York, the lifting of the mandate on businesses would have effects on many public settings, including retail shops, restaurants and malls as well as workplaces in which companies struggling to attract workers back to their offices. Hochul’s move would not affect the mask mandate in New York schools, which expires on Feb. 21 and has become increasingly contentious, sparking heated feuds among parents, teachers and students over public health and individual liberties.
The easing of New York’s pandemic restrictions on businesses comes as Democratic led states from New Jersey to California have announced similar moves this week, in a loosely coordinated effort that is the result of months of public-health planning, behind-the-Scene discussions and political focus groups that began in the weeks after the November election.