NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Kathy Hochul is expected to make an announcement about New York’s indoor mask mandate Wednesday.
While the mandate for businesses may be coming to an end, she’s not ready to do the same for schools.
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As CBS2’s John Dias reports, the change marks a promising shift in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The indoor mask mandate for businesses is set to expire Thursday, which has many New Yorkers on both sides reacting differently.
“Fantastic idea. They need to get rid of the mask mandate as soon as possible,” West Side resident Jake Tran said.
“Personally, I would keep my mask on, because there’s all sorts of different variants still emerging, and we just have to stay safe,” West Side resident Beatrice Henriquez said.
For the last two months, the rule has required both customers and workers to cover their faces while inside most public places.
On Tuesday, the state reported its lowest weekly case rate since Nov. 30.
“Look at this numbers. That is a beautiful sight my friends,” Hochul said Tuesday.
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While sources tell CBS2 the governor is expected to let the business mandate expire Thursday, she’s not ready to make a decision on kids in schools wearing masks. If the numbers continue to go down, it could be lifted by the end of the month.
Connecticut and New Jersey already announced their plans to lift mask mandates in schools.
“We have to learn to live with COVID,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommend masking in schools regardless of vaccination status.
“I am fully confident that it will be safe to have kids take off masks in school, particularly in schools with high vaccination rates,” Dr. Megan Ranney, of Brown University of Public Health, said. “My worry is that we’re not quite there yet.”
Medical experts say there are still situations where you might want to keep the mask on.
“It can still be a good idea to wear a mask, not necessarily to protect yourself but to keep from spreading the coronavirus to the most vulnerable among us,” CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez explained. “People like the elderly and those with weak immune systems. Wearing a mask could help keep Nanna and Pop-pop safe from COVID.”
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Even after the indoor mask mandate is lifted, everyone must still wear masks on public transit.