New York’s mask mandate returns amid COVID-19 surge

Coronavirus

(NewsNation Now) — New York’s mask mandate is back.

Beginning today, masks are now required in all indoor public spaces where a vaccine requirement is not already in place.

Gov. Kathy Hochul says she shares in the frustration of her fellow New Yorkers that this pandemic isn’t behind us. But facts are facts.

New York state’s 7-day case rate has spiked. Hospitalizations are up nearly 30% since Thanksgiving

It’s time to add “another layer of mitigation,” Hochul said.

The temporary mandate applies to all public places, except for venues in which you already have to flash your vaccination status to get in, like a concert venue or a restaurant.

The mandate runs through Jan. 15, at which point state officials will reassess New York’s COVID-19 policies.

Enforcement will be handled by local health departments, and violators face a $1,000 fine per infraction.

Hochul feels like this measure is necessary to prevent shutdowns like those seen saw last year.

“I don’t want to go back ever again to that place where people couldn’t go to their jobs safely, people couldn’t congregate, kids couldn’t go to school.” Hochul said. “That isolation had a devastating effect on the human condition and we’re still dealing with the fallout today.”

Two weeks ago, New York City reinstituted its indoor mask advisory. Although New York state had walked back its mask policies, many businesses appear to have left the signage up and plenty of people still abide by it.

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