New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced a new mask mandate for public places in the state that do not have a vaccine requirement. The announcement about the New York indoor mask mandate in public places comes as the state battles a surging number of COVID-19 cases.
New York imposes indoor mask mandate in public places
The mask mandate will be waived for businesses that require staff and customers to be vaccinated against the virus. Hochul decided to implement the mask mandate after reviewing the state’s weekly rate of COVID-19 cases from the last seven days. The growing number of hospitalizations due to the disease also played a role in the decision.
The New York indoor mask mandate applies to both staff and customers in public places and goes into effect starting on Dec. 13 until Jan. 15 unless the state extends it. The governor’s office will reevaluate the mandate in January based on conditions at that time. Hochul said in a press release that her top two priorities are “to protect the health of New Yorkers and to protect the health of our economy.”
Mask mandate despite high vaccination rate
She added that the temporary measures she put in place today “will help accomplish this through the holiday season. Hochul also thanked the more than 80% of New Yorkers who have gotten fully vaccinated, saying that they are doing “the right thing.”
She also said that she has “warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point,” citing three metrics: “increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas.”
Several states have already implemented mask mandates, including Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico.