NY Gov. Kathy Hochul will drop business mask mandate


Gov. Kathy Hochul will lift her business mask mandate on Wednesday as New York emerges from a deadly wave of Omicron cases, a source confirmed to The Post.

But the governor, who will make the announcement during an 11 a.m. press conference, will wait to decide if she’ll do the same for schools.

While the mandate is being dropped statewide, it will remain “optional for counties and business,” another source added.

New York City is expected to keep the mandate in place and still recommend that people wear masks, sources told The Post.

The mandate ordered Empire State businesses without vaccination requirements to compel workers, customers and visitors to wear masks in most public indoor settings, including grocery stores, shops and offices.

The masking order was only put in place in December when cases started to surge due to the new COVID variant.

The governor is now facing mounting pressure to also lift her school mask mandate after her counterparts in Connecticut and New Jersey announced earlier this week they’ll be dropping their edicts by the end of February or March.

Hochul had met with school administrators and teacher unions on Tuesday, but told them she wants to wait until after the upcoming mid-winter break — the week of Feb. 21 — before making a final decision.

The mandate went into effect in December when cases began to surge to to the Omicron variant.
The mask mandate went into effect in December when Omicron variant cases began to surge.
Christopher Sadowski

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Governor Hochul Participates in KAAGNY Food Giveaway on
February 5, 2022.
Governor Hochul will make the announcement during an 11 a.m. press conference.
Darren McGee- Office of Governor
The mandate ordered New York businesses without vaccination requirements to compel workers, customers and visitors to wear masks in most public indoor settings.
The mandate ordered New York businesses without vaccination requirements to compel workers, customers and visitors to wear masks in most public indoor settings.
REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
People gather next to a sign requiring masks during the New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square.
People gather next to a sign requiring masks during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square.
REUTERS/Hannah Beier
It is unclear whether or not the mask mandate will stay in place for now.
It is unclear whether or not the mask mandate for schools will stay in place.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
However, Gov. Kathy Hochul has hinted that it will remain.
Gov. Hochul has hinted that the school mandate will remain.
AP Photo/Brittainy Newman
A "No Mask No Entry" sign is pictured outside a business in Times Square during the coronavirus disease pandemic on December 15, 2021.
A “No Mask No Entry” sign is pictured outside a business in Times Square on December 15, 2021.
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

She had already been hinting that the school masking requirements, which were put in place before the school year began, would remain for now.

Hochul said she wanted more students to get vaccinated before she dropped the mandate requiring them to mask up in classrooms.



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