NEW YORK (PIX11) — It’s official: New York State’s mask-or-vaccine mandate for indoor businesses ended Thursday, after Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a decrease in COVID-19 metrics for the state Wednesday.
“This fight is not over, we’re not surrendering. This is not disarmament,” Hochul said, “but again, the trends are very, very positive.”
But not so fast: the change doesn’t affect every indoor setting. So, before you head out maskless, here are locations around New York that are still requiring face coverings:
- Bus stations
- Childcare centers
- Correctional facilities
- Domestic violence shelters
- Homeless shelters
- State-regulated health care settings
- State-regulated adult care facilities and nursing homes
- Subway stations
- Train stations
Parents and officials expressed frustration about a mask requirement remaining in school settings.
Tom Milazzo, the parent of a first grader, told PIX11 News that he saw no reason to keep the mask requirement, adding there’s “no evidence” the masks prevent spread.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has also been oppositional. The Long Island official led protests outside of his office against the mask wearing requirement, challenging the governor’s decision.
Hochul said that the state will make an assessment regarding school masking in early March on protocols based on COVID-19 metrics following midwinter break. The state plans to send millions of at-home rapid COVID test kits to families, and data from those tests will help inform Hochul’s decision.
Individual counties, cities and businesses can still choose to require masks if they deem it necessary.