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Governor Hochul lifts pause on elective surgeries, plans to revisit school masking policy in March

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Thursday that the state is lifting restrictions on elective surgeries.

The move come as New York’s statewide COVID-19 positivity rates and hospitalizations have declined significantly. According to the governor’s most recent COVID-19 update, positive cases have trended down over the past 47 days following January 2 peak. Hospitalizations have trended down for the past 42 days following the January 12 peak.

At her Thursday, February 24 press conference, Gov. Hochul reiterated her commitment to reassess New York’s school masking policy in the first week of March, according to News10 NBC. She also requested parents test their children for COVID-19 before returning for school after break.

The updates to New York’s COVID-19 policy come as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said it would announce changed to its metrics regarding the recommended use of face masks, according to Albany Times-Union. Additionally, the Biden administration said it would loosen federal guidelines on mask wearing on Friday, February 25.