NY Gov. Kathy Hochul imposes statewide mask mandate amid spread of omicron Covid variant

Kathy Hochul, governor of New York, arrives to speak at a news conference in New York, U.S., on Monday, Sept 30, 2021.

Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday announced a statewide mask mandate for all indoor public places unless the businesses or venues already have a vaccine requirement in place. 

The new mandate goes into effect Monday through Jan. 15, at which point the state will reassess its effectiveness based on Covid-19 conditions. 

It is the latest move by the governor to combat the spread of the new, highly mutated omicron variant before the holiday season commences. It comes one day after New York state confirmed at least 20 cases of the new strain across the state.

“The temporary measures I am taking today will help accomplish this through the holiday season,” Hochul said in a press release. “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.”

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