NY Times: Gov. Hochul to drop indoor mask mandate; no word on separate school mask mandate
UPDATE: The New York Times reports that Gov. Hochul is expected to drop New York's indoor mask mandate on Wednesday. A decision about the separate school mask mandate is not yet known. Original story is below.
Gov. Kathy Hochul is under pressure as there are growing calls for her to lift the statewide mask mandate.
This comes after New Jersey and Connecticut announced that their mask mandate will end in the coming weeks.
The mask mandate will expire for businesses in New York on Thursday. Gov. Hochul says she will announce if she will extend that mandate to wear masks in businesses on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the mask mandate in schools is set to expire Feb. 21.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday that the state’s school mask mandate will end March 7, calling it a huge step toward normalcy for kids.
Connecticut’s Gov. Ned Lamont announced that on Feb. 28, their state’s school mask mandate will end. Gov. Lamont cited a dramatic decline in cases and the ability of children ages 5 and up to get vaccinated for the reason.
Gov. Hochl has said she does not want to make a quick decision on masks and would still like to see the vaccination numbers increase in children over 5.
Some New Yorkers, however, are ready to see masks come off.
"It should be lifted because only the K-95 or the N-95 masks work," Sherman Kerener says. "Most people don't wear those masks anyway."
Businesses like 317 Main Street in Farmingdale also believe that people should have the choice to wear masks or not.
"People have the right to make the decision for themselves," says Eric LeVine, chef and partner at 317 Main Street. "We as a business, respect our customers and we respect if they want to come in with a mask, they're more than welcome to. If they don't, you're more than welcome to."
Chief of Public Health and Epidemiology at Northwell Health Dr. Bruce Farber says it's "reasonable" to start pulling back on mandates as COVID positivity numbers are improving.