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Hochul lifts mask mandate for public transit

Don Pollard
Office of the Governor
Gov. Kathy Hochul receives a COVID-19 booster shot Sept. 7 at the Boriken Neighborhood Health Center in East Harlem, New York.

Gov. Kathy Hochul ended mask mandates for mass transit and received her COVID-19 booster shot during a New York City press conference Wednesday.

Hochul said that masks would no longer be required on mass transit systems or in correctional facilities and shelters. The decision to remove the mask mandate comes from recent CDC guideline changes and the stabilization in COVID-19 cases across the state. Hochul said that this decision is one that makes sense for New Yorkers.

"People are getting back to work and they are getting back to school," Hochul said. "And when you are in those places not wearing a mask, it makes sense not to wear it on the way."

In addition to making the mask announcement, Hochul received her booster shot, one that New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said is more likely to combat the circulating variants than previous vaccines.

"Now we have a vaccine that is tailored to the circulating variant and we have a lot of confidence that this will bring people much more protection," Bassett said.

Bassett said that the release of the new omicron booster and being mindful of mask wearing will make for a positive trend in COVID-19 cases going into the winter months.

"So, all of these together, getting all your shots that you are eligible for, paying attention to your context, I am confident that we are going to be heading into a winter where we will be able to contain COVID," Bassett said.

Hochul said that getting the booster should be an exciting thing for New Yorkers who want to take control of their health.

"I am excited to be immunized and I want others to share in that excitement and know that they can take control of their own health," Hochul said.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.