New York to drop masking requirements in hospitals, health care facilities
New York state health officials has decided to allow masking mandates in hospitals and other health care facilities to lapse come Feb. 12, acting state Health Commissioner James V. McDonald said.
The emergency regulation was put in place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and applied to all staff, patients and visitors.
The position change comes as New York has seen a steady decline in transmission rates of COVID over the past two months, according to health department data.
Enacting masking policies instead will fall on individual health care facilities after Feb. 12, McDonald said in a statement Thursday.
Additionally, New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its workers came to an end Friday.
The requirement was put in place by former Mayor Bill de Blasio in November 2021, just two months before he left office.
Earlier this week, Mayor Eric Adams said the city would lift the mandate because 96% of the city’s workforce had received their primary COVID-19 series of shots against the virus.
Approximately 1,780 city workers who were fired for refusing to get vaccinated will not be reinstated automatically, but will be allowed to apply for jobs with their former departments “through existing city rules and regulations and hiring processes,” Adams said Monday.
The city dropped its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private-sector workers in November.