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New York’s indoor “mask-or-vax” mandate for businesses and schools will be extended an extra two weeks through Feb.10 despite a legal challenge and “positive” COVID-19 case trends, Gov.Kathy Hochul said on Friday.
The mandate — first put in place on Dec.10 — requires businesses without mandatory vaccination policies to require all workers, customers and guests wear masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus amidst the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
“The trend is much more positive and that is why I want to talk about the fact that we’ll have a temporary extension of our business ‘mask or vaccine’ policy and that has been a critical tool in driving those numbers down,” Hochul said during a press conference on Long Island.
The rule was supposed to expire on Tuesday, Feb.1 after a previous extension earlier this month.
Hochul said the state will evaluate the rule on a two-week basis.
Gov.Kathy Hochul extended the mandate through Feb.10 despite a legal challenge.
Mike Groll/Office of Governor Ka The mandate was supposed to expire Feb.1, but Hochul said she will continue to evaluate the situation.Christopher Sadowski “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 and I’m going to continue to reserve that, but also people are waiting to hear when some of these restrictions can be lifted,” she said.
Hochul’s mandate hit a roadblock this week when a Nassau judge ruled the mask mandate was “enacted unlawfully” because the executive branch overstepped its powers by putting in place a rule on its own without the legislature passing a law.
But the mandate will remain in place for now, as an appeals court judge granted stay on the decision following an appeal filed by state Attorney General Letitia James on behalf of Hochul and the DOH on Tuesday.
A Nassau County judge recently struck down the mandate for schools and businesses, but an appeals court granted a stay on the order after an appeal.AP “I want to thank all the businesses and the people who follow these policies.You are the reason our state is going to come out this far sooner than other states.
The numbers are still going up in other states.And we’ve been smart here.
I thank the people, I think the counties for their partnership,” added Hochul..