There are conflicting reports over the immediate future of New York’s masking orders for public places and schools.

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Governor Kathy Hochul and health officials are deciding whether to end or extend the two COVID-19 mask mandates. One of the mandates requires face coverings in schools and the other mandates them in most other public indoor settings.

Hochul held a conference call with educators February 8 ahead of announced plans to update the directive February 9.

Barnaby Chambers

As States like New Jersey and Connecticut are poised to end their public schools mandates in a few weeks, Hochul had hinted the school mandate in New York might remain in place for now, saying she wants more children to get vaccinated before she drops rules requiring masks in classrooms.

The New York Times, meanwhile, reported on the morning of February 8 that  Hochul was joining other Democratic leaders ending some mask mandates in light of the slowing in the number of new COVID-19 cases.

The Times report says Hochul will drop the indoor mask mandate February 9 that had ordered businesses to require customers to mask, or provide proof of full vaccination. The mandate extension was scheduled to run out Friday, February 11.

In Tuesday's meeting with teachers, parents and district representatives, there was an agreement that the administration was basing decisions on science and not politics and all had the best interest of the health and safety of students, teachers, staff and families as top priority.

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