Unelected Democrat New York Governor Kathy Hochul has imposed indoor mask mandates on the state once amid the emergence of the mild Omicron COVID variant.
However, businesses who have already implemented a vaccine requirement will be exempt from the order, which will go into effect Monday until January 15, 2022.
“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,” Hochul said in a statement Friday.
“We’re entering a time of uncertainty and we could either plateau here or our cases could get out of control.”
“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,” Hochul said.
“I have warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point based upon three metrics: Increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity, and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas,” she added.
The last time mask mandates were imposed for indoor venues in the state was from April 2020 to June 2021.