New York’s governor will on Wednesday announce an end to a years-long COVID-19 rule that people had largely stopped heeding, and officials had stopped enforcing, months ago.
The MTA mask mandate implemented at the start of the pandemic is over, two sources indicated Hochul will say. The action will go into effect immediately, the sources added.
Hochul, a Democrat, had hinted at an imminent end to the core COVID requirement a day ago, but Wednesday’s expected announcement has been a long time coming. She said in mid-April the mask mandate would remain in effect for the “short-term,” but the emergence of omicron subvariants BA.2.12.1 and BA.2.12 and a corresponding uptick in hospitalizations soon followed. Then came the most contagious COVID strain yet in BA.5.
But with the feds rolling out omicron-specific COVID vaccine boosters this week (learn more here), and COVID numbers on the decline, Hochul is expected to say she’s ready to make the move.
New York’s rolling new case average is down 39% in the last month, while COVID hospitalizations are down 20% in the same time frame.
The MTA apparently stopped tracking compliance with mask-wearing back in April, when the federal government stopped enforcing face coverings at airports and on planes and trains.
Source: NBC New York
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