New York Governor Extends Mask Mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday announced an extension to the state’s indoor mask mandate through Feb. 10.

This is the second time the mask mandate has been extended since Hochul came into office in August 2021.

“We’ll be extending that just through Feb. 10,” Hochul said. “Probably a couple days before then, we’ll be evaluating. But if we continue on this rapid trend downward, we’ll be in a good place. If it levels off or something else happens, I need that flexibility.”

New reported coronavirus infections have declined in recent weeks, having dropped from almost 70,000 a day in New York during the week ending Jan. 12 to about 20,000 during the week ending Jan. 26.

The governor initially imposed a mandate in December 2021 that required people to wear masks for all public indoor settings—unless they were vaccinated in spaces that had vaccine mandates. The mandate was due to expire Jan. 15, before Hochul moved the deadline to Feb. 1, and now to Feb. 10.

The mandate has fines of up to $1,000 for each violation. But Hochul also said her administration would not seek to compel counties to comply with the mandate.

The latest extension comes amid ongoing litigation over the mandate. Hochul’s administration is currently pursuing an appeal against a ruling by Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker, who deemed the state’s mask mandate “unconstitutional and unenforceable” on Jan. 24, and that the state Legislature would need to approve such laws for the mask mandate to be imposed.

Rademaker’s ruling did not prevent school districts from imposing their own mask mandates.

The following day, an appeals judge on Tuesday granted the state’s request for a stay while Hochul’s office seeks an appeal.

From The Epoch Times