Gov. Kathy Hochul lifted the mask mandate for indoor public spaces, including businesses, effective Thursday.
The mask mandate for schools remains in effect for now.
Huntington Town Supervisor Edmund J. Smyth immediately canceled the mask mandate and temperature checks at town buildings. “The Town of Huntington will no longer require masks or temperature checks to enter any Town facility,” said Supervisor Ed Smyth.
Referencing recent snowstorms, the governor said, “The storm clouds parting, the Covid clouds are parting,” before detailing the decisions in the last few months behind keeping the mask mandate in place. As the Covid-19 omicron variant began sweeping across New York, the state stood by its requirements that businesses, including public venues such as sports arenas, enforce the mandate that people wear masks or provide proof that they were vaccinated against the disease that has killed more than 900,000 Americans since it arrived in 2020.
New York will join a handful of other states that have begun to drop or significantly alter their Covid-19 restrictions as new omicron infections began to drop off. The mask mandate, in various forms, has been in place since April 2020, when then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed the restrictions in an effort to limit the spread of the disease.
In December, Hochul issued the current executive order, which was set to expire Thursday, requiring mask or vaccination proof at indoor public spaces, including indoor entertainment venues, concert halls, indoor sports stadiums, recreational spaces, restaurants, office buildings, shopping centers, grocery stores, pharmacies, houses of worship and common areas in residential buildings. Masks will still be required in hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, and transportation.