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Statewide Mask Mandate For All NYS Private Businesses, Public Venues

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A new statewide mask mandate for all private businesses and public venues in New York State went into effect this morning, Monday, December 13, 2021. 

According to the Governor Kathy Hochul's announcement:

  • Masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places, unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.
      • Businesses and venues that implement a proof of vaccination requirement must ensure that anyone 12 years of age or older is fully vaccinated before entering indoors.
    • "Fully vaccinated" is defined by the CDC as "14 days past an individual's last vaccination dose in their initial vaccine series."
    • Children ages 5 – 11 only have to show proof of having had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
    • Unvaccinated individuals continue to be responsible for wearing masks.
  • This measure is effective Dec. 13, 2021 until Jan. 15, 2022, after which the State will re-evaluate based on current conditions.

Gov. Hochul announced the mandate on Friday, December 10th in response to a "Winter Surge" of rising COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases across the entire state.

"We shouldn't have reached the point where we are confronted with a winter surge, especially with the vaccine at our disposal, and I share many New Yorkers' frustration that we are not past this pandemic yet," Governor Hochul said. "I want to thank the more than 80 percent of adult New Yorkers who have done the right thing to get fully vaccinated. If others will follow suit, these measures will no longer be necessary."   

"I have warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point based upon three metrics: Increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity, and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas," Governor Hochul added. 

NYS Commissioner of Health Mary Bassett backed the mandate with a determination, which she released the same day. 

Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by 43% and hospitalizations have increased by 29%. 


Read Gov. Hochul's Full Announcement here.
Read Commissioner Bassett's Full Determination here.
Follow NYS' COVID-19 Data here

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