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New York state makes masking optional for residents

3M 9501 mask
Katie Zilcosky
3M 9501 mask

The State of New York has updated its COVID-19 masking policies to now being optional in many previously mandatory settings.

On Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that it is now optional to wear a mask while utilizing public transportation while riding in ‘for-hire vehicles’ and at airports throughout the state. Masking is now also optional in homeless shelters, correctional facilities and detention centers.

The mask mandate still applies in adult care and health care facilities regulated by the State Health Department and in clinical settings managed by the Office of Mental Health. The COVID-19 positivity rate in New York State per 100,000 on Wednesday was 17.33%.

Gov. Hochul encourages anyone eligible to receive the latest boosters, which protect against Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.