NEW YORK – As New York continues to report a spike in COVID-19 cases amid the holiday season, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday unveiled her plan to combat the winter surge. 

The governor outlined her “Winter Surge Plan 2.0,”  which details a five-step recommendation to help keep New Yorkers safe this season as “the virus is changing so quickly.”

“To get through this winter surge and protect New Yorkers, we will use every tool at our disposal,” she said.

Included in her plan is the governor’s push to get children and adults vaccinated and boosted as well as keeping kids in school and preventing severe illness and death.

Additionally, Hochul implemented a new requirement for CUNY and SUNY students. 

Effective Jan. 15, students must be required to have their booster shot, whenever eligible. They are also required to submit a negative COVID PCR test before returning to campus, according to the governor. Faculty must also be vaccinated.

Hochul also extended the “Vax or Mask” mandate another two weeks to Feb. 1.

The “Winter Surge Plan 2.0” was broken up into five components:

  • Keep kids in school
  • Keep wearing masks and testing
  • Prevent severe illness and deaths
  • Keep increasing vaccines and boosters for adults and kids
  • Keep working in collaboration with local leaders

The governor reported over 76,500 new confirmed cases of COVID statewide. 

When asked how “bad” January will be, the governor said they cannot predict the future, but that it is better to “anticipate the worst-case scenario.”