Mask confusion! Here's the latest on New York's mask situation.

On Tuesday, New York's mask mandate was put back in place. For now.

On Monday, a state Supreme Court judge in Nassau County ruled New York's mask mandate is unconstitutional. Judge Rademaker ruled Monday that Gov. Hochul and New York's Health Commissioner don't have the authority to impose a mask mandate without approval from the State Legislature.

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On Monday, Hochul said she was looking into every option to reverse the judge's decision.

"My responsibility as Governor is to protect New Yorkers throughout this public health crisis, and these measures help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. We strongly disagree with this ruling, and we are pursuing every option to reverse this immediately," Hochul stated after the ruling.

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On Tuesday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James says an Appellate Division judge granted her motion to keep New York's mask mandate in place.

“Nearly three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that wearing a mask saves lives. This mandate and today’s decision are critical in helping to stop the spread of this virus and protect individuals young and old. We will continue to do everything in our power to prioritize the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers," James stated.

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Under Tuesday's order, the mask mandate will stay in effect until the Appellate court takes further action, according to James.

Hochul thanked James "for her defense of the health and safety of New Yorkers."

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"As Governor, my top priority is protecting the people of this state. These measures are critical tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19, make schools and businesses safe, and save lives. I commend the Attorney General for her defense of the health and safety of New Yorkers, and applaud the Appellate Division, Second Department for siding with common sense and granting an interim stay to keep the state's important masking regulations in place. We will not stop fighting to protect New Yorkers, and we are confident we will continue to prevail," Hochul stated.

On New Year's Eve Hochul extended the mask mandate until at least Feb. 1.

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Hochul has yet to comment on extending the mask mandate or ending it next month.

A violation of any provision of this measure is subject to all civil and criminal penalties, including a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation. Local health departments are being asked to enforce these requirements.

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Below is more information on the extended COVID rules:

Business/Venue Proof of Full-Course Vaccination Requirement

  • Businesses and venues that implement a proof of vaccination requirement can accept Excelsior Pass, Excelsior Pass Plus, SMART Health Cards issued outside of New York State, or a CDC Vaccination Card. In accordance with CDC's definition of fully vaccinated, full-course vaccination is defined as 14 days past an individual's last vaccination dose in their initial vaccine series (14 days past the second shot of a two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; 14 days past the one-shot Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine). The State also accepts WHO-approved vaccines for these purposes. Parents and guardians can retrieve and store an Excelsior Pass and/or Excelsior Pass Plus for children or minors under legal guardianship.

Business/Venue Mask-Wearing Requirement

  • Businesses and venues that implement a mask requirement must ensure all patrons two years and older wear a mask at all times while indoors.

Continued Masking Requirements

  • Unvaccinated individuals continue to be responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidance. Further, the State's masking requirements continue to be in effect for pre-K to grade 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care settings per CDC guidelines.
  • New York State and the State's Department of Health continue to strongly recommend mask-wearing in all public indoor settings as an added layer of protection, even when not required.
  • Children 2 - 5 who remain ineligible for vaccination must wear a proper-fitting mask.

 

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