NY indoor mask mandate extended to Feb. 1; boosters required for CUNY, SUNY students
Gov. Kathy Hochul laid out her winter surge 2.0 plan to tackle the surge of COVID-19 cases in New York ahead of the start of the new year.
She said the state is seeing a major uptick in cases in recent days, with a record number of 76,555 new cases reported in one day. Hospitalizations in the state have also hit 7,919.
As part of her plan to combat the spike, Hochul is extending the state’s indoor mask mandate through Feb. 1. Initially, the mandate was supposed to be temporary and reevaluated in January.
Hochul also recommended that all New Yorkers get their COVID-19 vaccine.
LIVE UPDATES: COVID-19 developments in New York
"There is no reason why anybody in the state of New York cannot get their arms jabbed with a vaccine. It's been valuable, easy. The information is out there," Hochul said.
Hochul added that she looks to expand access to vaccines and boosters for older New Yorkers all the way down to those ages 5 to 11.
Hochul also announced that a booster shot will be required for eligible SUNY and CUNY students starting Jan. 15., after the winter break.
"This is how we're going to ensure that these campuses stay open. As I've said all along, we're going to protect the health of New Yorkers, but also health of the economy because last time we didn't have vaccinations," Hochul said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people get booster shots at least 6 months after receiving their primary doses. Pfizer has booster shots available for people ages 16 and over, and Moderna has for people over 18 years old.
Hochul says her plan for this winter surge also includes keeping kids in schools while pushing for masks, vaccinations and testing. She says the state has received over five million testing kits for students in schools and over four million more are on the way.