NEWYORK – Governor Kathy Hochul said on Wednesday masks are optional for people taking public transit and elsewhere.
Still, the MTA says only about 60 percent of riders are still wearing masks in the system, and the MTA says the requirement is increasingly difficult to justify as most cities have switched to masks.
“This is our subway sign,” Hochul said, referring to the new notices the state has rolled out. “So places like shelters, correctional facilities, detention centers and, yes, public transit, you’ll see this little character. Masks are encouraged but not required.
“Let’s respect each other’s choices. That means, if you choose not to wear a mask, it’s your personal decision. You will make your own personal risk assessment of the people you come into contact with. , your vulnerable spots, where you work. You will make your own determination,” she continued. “But don’t judge your fellow passengers on their choices.”
Hochul said masks will still be required at adult care facilities, “as well as other health care facilities regulated by the Ministry of Health, while there is variation in general.”
View report by Alice Gainer
Most transit riders told CBS2’s Dick Brennan that it was goodbye and a good pass.
“I got over it. I totally got over it. I’ve been through it for years,” said Queens resident Theresa Waddy.
“It’s amazing. I love it… Yes, I’m done with the mask,” said Upper West Side resident John Moore.
“I think it was the right decision to make,” one man said. “I don’t wear a mask on the subway.”
“Personally, I don’t like masks,” said one stray.
The governor said hospitalizations have fallen, but some are still concerned about the BA.5 variant, which is the most contagious to date.
“No, I’m out of luck. So if it takes two years, I’ll wear it,” said Midtown resident Lorraine McCarroll.
“If it’s really crowded and people are really close and indoors, I think I’ll still wear a mask,” said Midtown resident Tai Do.
“My personal thing is that I feel safer if I wear a mask. That’s why I wear a mask,” one woman said.
“I’m a masked person. I don’t want to spread COVID. I care about the people around me,” said Daniel Chen of the Upper East Side.
Some medical experts agree that continuing to wear a mask is the way to go.
Dr Purvi Parikh, an immunologist with the Allergy and Asthma Network, said: “I think right now, especially as we go into indoor weather, we spend more time inside while the this virus can circulate, that’s really when face covering is most important.”
Parikh says the virus is still infecting many people.
“As an immunologist, I’ve been diagnosing COVID-19 cases daily for the past 90 days and writing to Paxlovid almost every day,” she said.
Those are all more reasons to get the new booster available, she said.
Hochul made the announcement before receiving her latest announcement East HarlemCBS2’s Alice Gainer reports.strengthening at the Boriken Neighborhood Medical Center in
“We have an enhancer tailored to the dominant variant in circulation,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett.
If you’re confused about whether or not to buy a booster, Bassett has a guide.
“If it’s been more than two months since you last shot, you’re 12 or older, you should get a booster at this point. Maybe with a booster, we think that’s going to give people protection. more defensive,” Bassett said.
The White House COVID-19 Response Team says the United States is moving toward annual COVID vaccination for most Americans, similar to how it treats flu shots with annual vaccines matched to current strains current.
“For the majority of Americans, one shot per year will provide a very high level of protection against serious illness, and that’s it,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 response coordinator. what we have to focus on.”
The latest booster combines parts of the original vaccine, with ingredients that target Omicron sub-variants.
Appointments for the updated boosters are available in New York City. Check with your pharmacy or doctor.