In spite of dropping COVID-19 infection rates, New Yorkers will be required to wear masks whenever inside in any public settings for an additional 11 days.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday, January 28 that the mask mandate, currently under challenge in the state’s highest court, is being extended to February 10 where it was supposed to expire February 1.

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The mandate was first announced December 10 as a way to try to curb the exploding spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The temporary initiative was due to expire February 1, was thrown out a little over a week ago as being unconstitutional as the Governor and Health Department had no emergency declaration to back it, then was reinstated while the Governor’s office appeals.

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Governor Hochul says the mandate will be re-evaluated every two weeks and it could be extended again if needed.  The Democrat maintains she is within her obligations of protecting public health and safety based on COVID-19 infection rates and does not need the approval of the State Legislature,

Over the past week New York’s rate of new COVID-19 infections has drastically fallen off. While the state a month ago was reporting new daily infections of up to over 67,000, the number of new cases reported January 30 was 8,781.

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