New York lifts mask mandate for public transit, including subways
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that face masks will no longer be required on mass public transit.
The big picture: New York will now resemble other mass transit systems across the country, which changed their own COVID-19 face mask rules after a federal judge overturned the nationwide mask mandate for transportation, the New York Times reports.
Driving the news: Hochul announced the decision Wednesday, saying masks will be "optional in some places where they had previously been required."
- This includes the New York subway system and homeless shelters, per the New York Times.
- "Masks are encouraged, but optional," reads a post shared by Hochul. "Let's respect each other's choices."
- Masks will still be required at "state-regulated health care facilities" and in clinical settings, including hospitals and nursing homes, Hochul said.
State of play: New York's COVID-19 infections have been dropping and remain stable, Bloomberg reports.
- “We haven’t seen any spikes, and also people are getting back to work, back to school,” the governor said, according to Bloomberg.
- “We are seeing major declines in hospitalizations,” Hochul said, per NYT. “We have to restore some normalcy to our lives.”
Flashback: Hochul had been expected to change the COVID requirements for months now, NBC New York reports.
- The governor said in mid-April that the mask requirements wouldn't last too much longer. A surge of omicron variant cases kept the requirement in place, Axios previously reported.