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When should New York’s mask mandate end?

A New York appellate court has granted a full stay to keep the mask mandate in place for the length of the appeals process. The mandate is set to end February 10, but this ruling could extend it until March 2. The back and forth in the court system has left many to wonder when the mandate will be removed entirely.

Cynthia Leifer, an immunologist from Cornell University, cautions people from relying on a specific end date, according to CNY Central. Leifer says she and other health experts can’t predict when the mandate, or the pandemic as a whole, will end.


“I don’t think anyone is going to go out on a limb and say a specific date because we don’t know what can happen tomorrow,” said Leifer. “A new variant could come out that could not be more transmissible, but be more deadly.”

She says the figure to pay attention to is COVID-19-related hospitalizations, which have doubled since the mask mandate was put in place on December 15, 2021.

Leifer also said she wished the mask mandate had been implemented before there were 3,500 hospitalizations across New York in early December, and that masking is still the most effective step people can take to stay safe as the pandemic rages on with the new Omicron variant.



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