New York Democratic Governor Hochul re-institutes statewide COVID-19 mask mandate

Hochul cited rising number of cases, hospitalizations
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New York City residents wearing masks
New York City residents wearing masks
(Noam Galai/Getty)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Friday that COVID-19 masks will be required in all indoor public places except for businesses or venues that implement a vaccine requirement, facing a winter surge in virus infections.

Hochul, a Democrat, said the decision to reinstate the mask mandate was based on the rising number of cases and hospitalizations, including the especially high numbers upstate New York.

New York enacted a mask mandate at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020 that lasted more than a year, according to the Associated Press.

The renewed mask mandate applies to patrons and staff and will be in effect from Monday to Jan. 15, after which the state will reevaluate.

New York joins several states with similar indoor mask mandates, including Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.

The state recorded more than 68,000 positive tests for the virus in the seven-day period that ended Wednesday -- the  most in any seven-day stretch since the start of February, the wire service also reports