Mask Mandate Mostly Lifted, But School Mandate Stays

On February 9, 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the statewide mask mandate for indoor public places would be lifted effective February 10.

Gov. Hochul stated that the decision to lift the mask mandate was driven by decreasing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

According to the Albany Times Union, mask mandates affecting transportation hubs, nursing homes, and correctional facilities will remain in place. Also, counties and businesses will remain at liberty to require masks should they so choose. The Governor added that the mask mandate affecting schools would stay in place until at least February 28. It appears unlikely that this mandate would be lifted before March 7.

Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) expressed opposition to the indefinite continuation of the school mask mandate. According to Leader Ortt, “‘The public deserves to know which metrics and so-called science [the Hochul] administration used to make this misguided decision.’”

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms welcomes the lifting of the Hochul administration’s mask mandate for indoor public places. This policy change will remove an onerous and intrusive executive action, and will once again empower New Yorkers to decide for themselves whether to wear masks. We encourage Gov. Hochul to lift the mask mandate for schools as well. New Yorkers can make health decisions for ourselves and our families without top-down government directives.