Hochul indicates mass transit mask mandates not lifting anytime soon

Gov. Kathy Hochul indicated Thursday that New Yorkers shouldn’t maintain their breaths about her lifting the mask mandate for public transit — saying vaguely {that a} “conversation” on the transfer would occur “soon.”

“We talk about this often. We will be coming to a point where it will not be necessary. We saw a trend — right when you think you’re about to talk about lifting requirements, we had a spike about a month and a half ago,” she informed reporters throughout an unrelated morning press convention at Moynihan Practice Corridor.

“We were upwards in all of our counties, all out of regions.” 

However now, due to a “17-day decline” in coronavirus instances within the state, New York is “heading to a place where we should be able to have those conversations soon,” Hochul defined.

“But I also want people to feel safe and secure — safety-wise, but also health-wise,” the governor added. “So we’re going to have a conversation soon about that.”  

NYS Gov Kathy Hochul
Whereas the federal authorities in April stopped imposing the mask requirement for airports, planes and modes of transportation after a federal choose’s ruling, Hochul opted to maintain it for public transit within the Empire State.
Robert Miller
subway masks
Mask-wearing on the subway has declined in current months.
Matthew McDermott

Coronavirus instances have declined in current weeks, however are nonetheless increased than they have been final 12 months within the early summer time, although with few hospitalizations or deaths amongst vaccinated New Yorkers. As of Tuesday, the seven-day common COVID-19 positivity fee is 5.6% — down from the over 8% recorded in mid-Could however up from the sub 1% degree recorded in early June of 2021. 

Whereas the federal government in April stopped enforcing the mask requirement for airports, planes and different modes of transportation after a federal choose’s ruling, Hochul opted to keep it for public transit in the Empire State.

Regardless of her sustaining regulation, the share of those that have opted to flout it has just lately skyrocketed, according to MTA data


MTA bus with "mask required" sign
As of Tuesday, the seven-day common COVID-19 positivity fee is 5.6%
Christopher Sadowski

The company’s most up-to-date mask compliance surveys confirmed that simply 64% of subway riders put on their masks accurately — down from 90% on the similar level in 2021. On buses, the portion of those that observe the state’s rule is an solely barely increased 67% — a drop from 91% in spring 2021.

In April, the head of the MTA downplayed concerns a couple of current discount within the quantity of people that observe the state’s mass transit mask requirement, claiming bus and rail riders are extra involved about security amid rising transit assault numbers than coronavirus-related dangers. 

“It is not a huge drama on our mass transit system,” Chairman Janno Lieber stated throughout an April 27 press convention. “There are other issues, which are, I think, more important to New Yorkers right now as they use mass transit, resume coming to work.”

Whereas Hochul appears poised to require New Yorkers to maintain masking up whereas on their commutes for the foreseeable future, her Thursday feedback observe months of the governor and Mayor Eric Adams lifting coronavirus-related restrictions. 

As COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations have decreased within the Huge Apple and throughout New York state, the pair of chief executives have just lately put an finish to the indoor venue proof-of-vaccination requirement, necessary masking for students eligible to get inoculated, and state’s business mask rule. And on Thursday, Adams announced that he’s putting off obligatory mask-wearing for college students and day care attendees ages 2 to 4, who’re not but capable of get vaccinated. 

However Adams has kept the Huge Apple vaccine mandates for each municipal and private-sector employees instituted by former Mayor Invoice de Blasio. 

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