Mask-or-vaccine mandate in New York extended to mid-February, Hochul says
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said on Friday that the state’s mask mandate, which requires indoor public places to require masks unless they institute a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for entry, would be extended to mid-February.
“We’ll be extending that just through Feb. 10,” Hochul said in Long Island during a press conference, The Associated Press reported. “Probably a couple days before then we’ll be evaluating. But if we continue on this rapid trend downward we’ll be in a good place. If it levels off or something else happens, I need that flexibility.”
According to a Friday update from Hochul regarding New York’s progress against COVID-19, hospitalizations in the state over the past week declined by over 2,800. It also noted that in every region of New York, COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents were all on the decline.
The state, not including New York City, reported close to 11,000 cases on Thursday and over 10,100 cases the day prior, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Earlier this month, those figures were as high as over 40,000 cases.
New York City itself saw over 5,000 cases on Thursday, compared to figures as high in one case of over 125,000 earlier this month, per CDC data.
Roughly 93 percent of New York state residents aged 5 years and older have had at least one dose of the vaccine and 79 percent are fully vaccinated. About 43 percent of New York state residents aged 18 years and older have received their booster.
During an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that officials had to have clear goal posts in mind for when mitigation measures get removed.
“I think we need to prescribe very clear goalposts for how we take these mitigation measures off. When do we lift the vaccine mandates? When do we stop using masks in schools?” Gottlieb said.
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