Does This Mark The End Of COVID Pandemic In New York?
A recent move made by Gov. Kathy Hochul shows the COVID pandemic may be over in New York State.
Gov. Hochul confirmed she will not be extending the COVID-19 state disaster emergency.
COVID State Disaster Emergency Not Extended
"I will not be renewing them this time. We’re in a different place now. We’ve been making announcements about taking masks off on public transportation. We have a new booster shot as of a few days ago," Hochul said.
The COVID state disaster emergency was originally signed by former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in March 2020. It was set to expire at midnight on Monday, Sept 12, 2022.
Hochul believes the COVID state disaster helped New York battle COVID. She adds say she will reinstate emergency orders if there's a sudden increase in coronavirus cases.
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"As we head into the fall, I urge New Yorkers to remain vigilant in keeping themselves, their loved ones, and their communities safe and healthy," Hochul said on Tuesday. "Take advantage of the vaccine by staying up to date on doses. Test before gatherings or travel and if you test positive, talk to your doctor about potential treatment options."
'New Normal' Starts Today In New York, New COVID Rules Issued
Last week, Hochul updated mask guidelines across New York State. Masks are no longer required on public transportation, in for-hire vehicles, at airports, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and detention centers.
"We'll be talking about a new normal starting today. Department of Health will be issuing new guidance regarding masks based on the CDC guidance, and starting today, masks will be optional," Hochul said.
While mask wearing is no longer required it's still "encouraged" in all of the settings.
Masks will continue to be required at adult care and health care facilities regulated by the state Department of Health, and in clinical settings regulated by the Office of Mental Health, Office of Addiction Services and Supports, and Office for People With Developmental Disabilities.
New COVID Boosters Available in New York
Last week, Governor Hochul received her COVID-19 booster aimed at the Omicron variant of COVID. She also announced the availability of bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters. These shots are designed to add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants and bolster previous vaccination protection, officials say.
To schedule an appointment for your Omicron booster, you can contact your local pharmacy, county health department, or healthcare provider; visit vaccines.gov; text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations.