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New York state lifts indoor mask mandate as surge in omicron cases subsides


One person with a face-mask leaves a New York City shop on January 26, 2022.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

New York has decided to drop its indoor mask requirement due to the increase in Covid-19-related cases. Hospitalizations and cases continue falling in all regions. Kathy Hochul stated Wednesday.

Hochul does not plan on renewing the health care measure which ends Thursday. The law required that businesses ensure their customers had been fully vaccinated and were wearing masks inside at all times. This is a significant turning point for the state’s reaction to the pandemic. The long safety protocols have left many people drained and have prompted protests and legal challenges.

Hochul spoke at a conference, “Positivity rates are down and hospitalizations (cases per 100,000) are down and there are fewer new admissions.” “So New Yorkers, this is what we’ve waiting for —tremendous progress after two long years.

“We aren’t done. However, this trend is in a very positive direction. That is why we now approach a new phase of this pandemic,” she stated.

This move won’t likely affect areas that require federal masks such as public transport or airplanes. Some masks might still be needed by certain localities.

This decision is made as winter surge caused by the omicron Covid-19 variation finally begins to subside.

At a press conference Tuesday, Dr. Rochelle Waensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that “we’ve always stated these decisions will need to be made locally.” While they must be made at the local level,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that she was encouraged by how cases have been dropping dramatically.

Johns Hopkins University’s data shows that the state currently reports about 7,000 new cases per days, which is a decrease from January 9th when there was a pandemic of 85,000. A total of 6,100 New Yorkers are in hospital with Covid at the moment. That’s a decrease of 25% from the week before and just half the level of mid-January. The seven-day average data of the Dept. Health and Human Services.

The same trend can be seen in New York City. It was once the epicenter for the pandemic, and also the latest omicron wave. In January 2011, the average daily case count peaked at 41,000, but has since dropped to 2,400 per person per day, according to state data. The number of hospitalizations in New York City recently reached 6,500, but they are only about a third.

New York’s Covid death rate is increasing but not decreasing each day. Although the state cases rose to almost five times the peak levels of the last winter, the number of daily Covid deaths in New York surpassed this record by 15%. They reached 229 on Jan. 23, and are now at a daily rate of 136. Hopkins data supports that.

New York became the latest Democrat state to announce it was withdrawing some of its mandates on Wednesday.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy earlier this weekAnnounced that both students and teachers would be exempted from wearing face covers. This announcement triggered a wave among other state officials who announced they were ending some pandemic measures.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom stated that he would allow some of the state’s mask measures expire. Officials Connecticut, Delaware OregonThey also stated that they will withdraw certain masking measures.