“I am pleased by the Governor’s announcement this morning that the New York State COVID-19 mask mandate for businesses will be removed tomorrow, although local municipalities and businesses will have the choice to continue the mandate themselves. From the outset, it has been in the interest of public health and safety to follow the guidance of medical professionals and scientists. Now, because of improving numbers in cases and hospitalizations, we are able to turn the corner in what has been a long, cumbersome, and often frustrating process.
“While I am disappointed that there is no definitive date for the removal of the mask mandate in schools, I am hopeful, based on the metrics provided, that the mandate will be removed in early March, after the data is reviewed following the mid-winter break. I recently urged Governor Hochul to provide school districts with benchmarks by which to objectively determine the point at which mask mandates could be relaxed or removed. If the positive trends we’ve seen since the mandate’s implementation in December continue, it is my expectation that the mandate will be lifted for schools as well.
“I understand that frustration from parents and students is high, and I sympathize and share in those frustrations. However, based on where we are now and how far we’ve come, I’m encouraged that schools will soon be joining businesses in a return to normalcy soon.”