NY lifts Covid-19 mask mandates on public transport after 28 months

New York Governor Kathy Hochul lifted the state’s mask requirement for public transit on Wednesday, removing one of the last remaining government mandates of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Covid numbers are stable, putting the state “in a good place now,” she said. 

“We haven’t seen any spikes, and also people are getting back to work, back to school,” Hochul said during a press conference at a health center in New York City, shortly before receiving her Omicron-targeted booster. “We have to restore some normalcy to our lives.” 

Hochul displayed new signs that will be posted in the subway system that read, “Masks are encouraged, but optional. Let’s respect each other’s choices.” 

Effective immediately, masks will no longer be required for mass transit, correctional facilities and shelters. Mask mandates remain in effect at adult-care facilities, as well as at other health-care facilities regulated by the state, Hochul said. 

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration dropped a mask mandate for the country’s planes, trains and other modes of transportation after a U.S. judge overturned the federal mandate on April 18. 

The TSA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommend the use of face coverings, but both said orders requiring masks on public transportation would no longer be enforced. 

New Yorkers can now receive new booster shot against Omicron subvariants 

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the availability of bivalent Covid-19 vaccine boosters, which are designed to add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants and bolster previous vaccination protection. The announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to use updated Covid-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for anyone age 12 or older and from Moderna for those 18 or older.  To schedule an appointment for the updated booster, New Yorkers should contact their regular health care provider, local pharmacy, or local county health department. New Yorkers can also visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations.      

“As we continue to contend with the effects of this pandemic on all our lives, we need to ensure we’re using every tool available to us,” Governor Hochul said. “Throughout the pandemic, New Yorkers have been smart, looked out for one another, and taken steps to protect themselves and their neighbors. Getting vaccinated and boosted remains our best shot at protecting ourselves and fellow New Yorkers, and I encourage everyone eligible to sign up and get the updated bivalent Covid-19 booster.” 

Image courtesy of thesatimes

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