(NEW YORK) – Masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places starting Monday unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. Gov. Kathy Hochul said this a major action to address the expected winter surge in cases and hospitalizations statewide and to be in alignment with the CDC’s recommendations for communities with substantial and high transmission.
This determination is based on the State’s weekly seven-day case rate as well as increasing hospitalizations. The new business and venue requirements extend to both patrons and staff. This measure is effective Tuesday until Jan. 15, 2022, after which the State will re-evaluate based on current conditions. The new measure brings added layers of mitigation during the holidays when more time is spent indoors shopping, gathering, and visiting holiday-themed destinations.
“As Governor, my two top priorities are to protect the health of New Yorkers and to protect the health of our economy. The temporary measures I am taking today will help accomplish this through the holiday season. We shouldn’t have reached the point where we are confronted with a winter surge, especially with the vaccine at our disposal, and I share many New Yorkers’ frustration that we are not past this pandemic yet,” said Hochul.
Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by 43% and hospitalizations have increased by 29%. While the percentage of New Yorkers fully vaccinated continues to increase—gaining 2% from Thanksgiving weekend to now—the uptick is not fast enough to completely curb the spread of the virus, particularly among communities with low vaccination coverage.
A violation of any provision of this measure is subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation. Local health departments are being asked to enforce these requirements.