New York’s COVID-19 mask mandate has been extended, even as the state is in court to determine its legality in certain settings.
The mandate, which had been set to expire on Tuesday, Feb. 1, has been extended through Thursday, Feb. 10, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced.
An appeals court issued a stay on Tuesday, Jan. 25 that kept the mandate in place for businesses and schools during the appeals process, and court proceedings are scheduled for Friday, Jan. 28.
“We are going to extend that through Feb. 10, probably a couple (of) days before that we will be evaluating," she said. "But if we continue on this rapid trend downward, we will 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 are going to be lifted. We are going to continue with our flexibility."
Hochul said that the mandate applies to all indoor public places, including businesses and schools. It will now be reevaluated every two weeks to allow the Department of Health to assess the state of the pandemic at that time.
“That has been a critical tool in driving those numbers down," Hochul said. "They could be even more out of control, but we're going to continue doing this, not by month, not by three months, we're going to do it every two weeks now.
"So we can be ready to suspend, give businesses the notice they've been waiting for."
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