Governor Hochul Announces Winter Toolkit for New Phase of COVID Response: Keep New York Safe, Open and Moving Forward (2023)

February 9, 2022

Albany, NY

Coronavirus

COVID-19 Vaccine

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Governor Hochul Announces Winter Toolkit for New Phase of COVID Response: Keep New York Safe, Open and Moving Forward

Statewide Indoor Business Mask or Vaccine Requirement to be Lifted Starting February 10, Remains Optional for Businesses, Local Governments, Counties

Masks Will Still Be Required In Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Shelters, Transportation and Other Related Entities

Requirements Related To Masks in Schools Continue and Will Be Reevaluated in Early March, After Mid-Winter Break, Based on Public Health Data

Health Care, Business and Labor Leaders Praise Governor Hochul's Scientific, Evidence-Based COVID-19 Response

View Governor Hochul's Winter Toolkit: English | الترجمة إلى العربية | বাংলা অনুবাদ | 中文翻譯 | Tradiksyon kreyòl ayisyen | Traduzione italiana | 한국어 번역 | Polskie tłumaczenie Перевод на русский язык | Traducción al español | אידישע איבערטייטשונג

Governor KathyHochultoday announced New York's newWinter Toolkitfor the new phase of the pandemic, aiming to keep New York safe, open and moving forward. The Winter Toolkit focuses on five core areas:protecting the most vulnerable New Yorkers,increasing vaccinations and boosters, strengthening our health care system, empowering local leaders, and supporting individuals facing the long-term effects of COVID.

"As we begin a new phase in our response to this pandemic, my top priority is making sure we keep New York safe, open and moving forward,"GovernorHochulsaid."I want to thank the health care workers, business owners and everyday New Yorkers who acted responsibly during the Omicron surge by masking up and getting vaccinated. But make no mistake: while we're moving in the right direction, this pandemic isn't over and our new Winter Toolkit shows us the path forward."

GovernorHochulannounced that the statewide indoor business mask-or-vaccine requirement will be lifted starting Thursday, February, 10, and will remain optional for businesses, local governments and counties to enforce.This protocol, a temporary measure implemented on December 10 as statewide cases spiked, was an effective tool to address the winter surge and the rise of the Omicron variant. With case counts plummeting and hospitalizations sharply declining, this temporary measure is no longer needed statewide. Counties, cities, and businesses will be able to opt into the mask-or-vaccine requirement if they so choose.

Masks remain a critical tool to fight the spread of COVID-19, and mask requirements will remain in place in certain high-density settings. All health care settings regulated by the Department of Health and other related state agencies will continue to require masks. Masks will also be required in nursing homes, adult care facilities, correctional facilities, detention centers, homeless shelters, and domestic violence shelters, publictransit and transportation hubs, as well as trains, planes and airports in accordance with federal regulations.

GovernorHochulalso announced plans to assess the mask requirement in schools in early March, to ensure students can continue learning in-person and in the classroom. The assessment will be based on public health data, including key metricslike cases per 100,000 residents, hospital admission rates, vaccination rates, global trends and pediatric hospitalizations. Plans are already underway to distribute two tests for every K-12 student ahead of midwinter break, and continue distribution the following week when students return to school.In the meantime, GovernorHochulhas directed the Department of Health to work on preliminary guidance, with input from educators and parents, to keep students and teachers safe.

With a new phase of the pandemic beginning, GovernorHochulunveiled a new Winter Toolkit to help keep New Yorkers safe. The toolkit includes efforts to:

  1. Protect the most vulnerable
  2. Increase access to vaccines, boosters and testing
  3. Strengthen the health system
  4. Empower local leaders
  5. Support New Yorkers facing long-term COVID effects

Protecting the Most Vulnerable

New York State will continue to acquire and distribute masks and tests to New Yorkers to ensure those who need them can access them. The state's test stockpile contains 92 million tests. Over 14.2 million tests have been distributed to schools and tests will continue to be distributed as needed. 4.2 tests have been distributed to nursing homes, 2.4 million tests to adult care/congregate facilities, and 4 million tests to counties.

1.28 millionmaskshave been distributed to nursing homes and 5.5 million masks have been distributed to counties.

Visitation rules in nursing homes will remain in place. Visitors must show proof of a negative test within 24 hours of their visit and masks will remain required.

Tests will be made widely available for studentsso that K-12 studentcango home for their Midwinter Break with two tests.

As we begin a new phase in our response to this pandemic, my top priority is making sure we keep New York safe, open and moving forward.

Governor Kathy Hochul

Increase Access to Vaccines, Boosters and Testing

  • New York State's mass vaccination and testing sites will remain open to ensure all eligible New Yorkers can access first, second, and third doses for themselves and their children.
  • The State's #VaxForKidspop-up programming continues to expand with 63 new sites established today and 193 sites established to date. This effortbrings the vaccine directly to parents, guardians, and their children at local schools, community centers, and destinations like farmer's markets to make getting vaccinated convenient and accessible for families.
  • New York State is actively preparing for the Pfizer-BioNTechvaccine to come online for children under 5 years old.
  • The State's robust education efforts to reach New Yorkers with good, science-based information about the vaccine is on-going including throughtraditional advertising, digital and multimedia campaigns, and direct messaging efforts through SMS text messaging,robo-calling, and Excelsior Pass push notifications.
  • All 61 state-operated and state-partneredtesting siteswill remain open to provide New Yorkers with access to COVID-19 testing.
  • Testing also remains widely available at over1,800 sitesstatewide in every region of the State.

Strengthen the Healthcare System

To troubleshoot shortage issues,Executive Order 4to increase staffing flexibility will remain in place. National Guard willcontinueto be trained to be able to staff in places needed as well.

As part of the Governor'sWinter Surge Plan 2.0, the State has already deployed 20-member Medical Specialty Teams from the U.S. military hospital support team to Erie County Medical Center, a 35-member team to SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, 92 new ambulance teams to different regions in the state, including 50 to NYC, and two Medical Specialty Teams (MSTs) of 20 personnelfrom the Department of Defense toStrong Memorial Hospital.

GovernorHochulalso outlined investments to strengthen the health care system in her 2022 State of the State Address and FY 2023 Budget. $10 billion will be invested to grow the health care workforce by twenty percent in five years. $4 billion will be invested in wages and bonuses to stop the hemorrhaging of health care staff. $1.6 billion will be invested via the Capital Plan.

Empower Local Leaders

GovernorHochul'sannouncement today comes after consultation with local leaders on steps the state is taking to fight COVID-19.

Support New Yorkers Facing Long-Term COVID Effects

  • Last Thursday, the State's Department of Health hosted anexpert forumon Long COVID and over 2,000 individuals registered to view the panels. Panelists included specialists, clinicians, social scientists, patients and advocates who shared their experience, expertise, and insights.
  • This discussion, as well as continued focus and study by the Department, will inform the State's response which will span policy, regulatory, and program considerations to support New Yorkers suffering from long COVID as well as the healthcare providers who care for them.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said,"At every stage of the pandemic, and since Omicron emerged, the Department of Health has monitored the science to inform the State's data-driven COVID-19 response. Today, we have reached a critical point in our fight in which the proof of vaccination or masking requirement for businesses, restaurants and other indoor public spaces will expire. As the winter surge recedes, getting vaccinated and boosted remains critical to continue the progress we've made, and masking remains key to keeping children in schools safely and keeping everyone safe in public transit and other crowded settings. As we continue to assess the data, the Department is also focused on ensuring the necessary support is there for those suffering from long COVID."

(Video) Governor Hochul (D-NY) holds briefing on coronavirus

Governor Hochul Announces Winter Toolkit for New Phase of COVID Response: Keep New York Safe, Open and Moving Forward (1)

Business Council of New York State President & CEO HeatherBriccettisaid,"As protecting public health remainsour top concern, we also appreciate the Governor's efforts to assure that state policies reflect ever-changing COVID levels.Throughout the pandemic, employers have taken the necessary safety precautions and followed state and federal guidelines to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. We hope new policies will encourage New Yorkers to continue to support New York businesses still recovering from the pandemic."

New York State Association of Counties President MarthaSauerbreysaid, "Weapplaud Governor KathyHochul'sdecision to lift the statewide mask mandate and allow for local decision-making regarding COVID-19 prevention measures. Local leaders and health officials have the training and public health expertiseto ensure the health and safety of the public at large.Any step toward normalcy is a good step for our residents and businesses who have struggled so hard to protect one another for nearly two years. We acknowledge GovernorHochul'spublic health measures, including testing, vaccinations and emergency management assistance, during this pandemic and appreciate the steps she took to address this wave without implementing other business restrictions. Now we welcome the opportunity to return communicable disease control to the counties."

Partnership for New York City President & CEO KathrynWyldesaid,"GovernorHochul'sdecision to allow expiration of mask mandates in the workplace will encourage the return of employees to the office and accelerate the city's economic recovery. It is the right call."

Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York President Gary LaBarbera said,"The mask mandate has helped keep New York's working men and women safe and healthy during the most uncertain and volatile moments of the public health crisis. The easing of indoor mask mandates for businesses is a positive sign in New York's recovery, as it's a direct result of COVID-19 cases dropping across the state and, hopefully, the pandemic itself receding. We're grateful to GovernorHochulfor her thoughtful and steady leadership in navigating New York through these uncertain times."

New York State AFL-CIO President MarioCilentosaid,"In light of the announcement today, we thank the governor for ensuring employers still have responsibilities under state statute, including the Public Employee Safety and Health Act and the New York HERO Act, which remain in effect. These laws establish safety protocols to protect workers and the public. Moving forward, in the absence of the mask mandate, employers must continue to work with their employees to make sure appropriate protections are in place."

New York State Restaurant Association President & CEO Melissa Fleischut said,"Governor Hochul clearly understood that the restaurant industry could not survive another shutdown, and the mask mandate helped ensure that we could remain open for indoor dining even as cases surged. Now as the metrics continue to trend in the right direction and consumer confidence increases, we remain hopeful that better times are ahead and we can continue our recovery from the darkest days of the pandemic. This measured approach balances public health concerns with the need to keep our doors open."

Retail Council of New York State President & CEO Melissa O'Connor said, "GovernorHochulover the past several weeks has prioritized the health and safety of New Yorkers, while recognizing the importance of keeping the economy open during the COVID-19 'winter surge' in New York. Today's announcement is a positive development for retailers throughout the state and we will continue to collaborate with the Governor on economic recovery efforts."

Greater New York Hospital Association President KennethRaskesaid,The Greater New York Hospital Association fully supports GovernorHochul'sdecision to let the mask mandates expire. Thankfully, hospitalizations due to COVID have dropped dramatically in recent weeks and we are optimistic that this trend will continue, particularly as more and more New Yorkers get vaccinated. Returning to as much normalcy as possible is exactly what is needed.We thank the Governor for her outstanding leadership during this extraordinarily challenging time and, as always, stand ready to assist in any way needed to combat this pandemic.

President & CEO ofNorthwellHealth Mike Dowling said,"I support the Governor's decision. It is reasonable and data driven. It is now time to begin the pivot to a more normal way of living".

Erie County Medical Center President & CEO Thomas J.QuatrocheJr., PhD said, "As protecting public health remainsour top concern, we also appreciate the Governor's efforts to assure that state policies reflect ever-changing COVID levels.Throughout the pandemic, employers have taken the necessary safety precautions and followed state and federal guidelines to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. We hope new policies will encourage New Yorkers to continue to support New York businesses still recovering from the pandemic."

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

(Video) Gov. Hochul updates New Yorkers on COVID-19 (full briefing) — December 24, 2021

[emailprotected]

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(Video) Gov. Hochul updates New Yorkers on COVID-19 pandemic, omicron variant (full briefing) — November 29,

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(Video) Gov. Hochul announces 'Winter Plan 2.0', bolsters New York's response efforts to COVID-19 pandemic

FAQs

Does ny state have a vaccine mandate? ›

However, Mayor Adams officially announced on September 20, 2022, that New York City will rescind this private employer vaccine mandate, effective November 1, 2022, thereby allowing companies to remove vaccination requirements for NYC workers.

Does New York still have Covid mandates? ›

As New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on September 20, 2022, the mandate for private-sector employees became optional on November 1, 2022.

Is the vaccine mandate lifted in NYC? ›

NYC to End Private Employer COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate on November 1, 2022.

Can you visit unvaccinated New York? ›

As of November 8, 2021, international travelers may once again enter the country to visit New York City. All travelers over the age of 18 must be fully vaccinated.

Do you have to be vaccinated to fly on a plane? ›

If you do not meet the requirements to be considered fully vaccinated, you will not be able to board your flight to the United States, unless you meet criteria for one of the exceptions.

Is it mandatory to be vaccinated in New York to work? ›

There is no workplace vaccine mandate for private businesses in New York City.

What vaccines are mandatory in New York? ›

Every child in day care, Head Start, nursery school or prekindergarten in NYS must be immune to diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, varicella, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and pneumococcal disease.

Do vaccine mandates work? ›

Substantial evidence shows that vaccination mandates in the USA performed well on both dimensions of effectiveness before the COVID-19 epidemic.

Do you have to wear a mask in New York State? ›

A face covering is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19. A state order requires everyone over age 2 who can medically tolerate a face covering to wear one when outside their home if unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.

Is it mandatory to get Covid vaccine in NYC? ›

All persons newly hired for City employment (including NYCDOE employment) must provide proof of having received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

How long does Covid stay in the air? ›

The virus spreads when other people breathe in infected droplets or when the droplets land in the eyes, nose or mouth of a person nearby. Infection with the COVID-19 virus may also occur if someone is exposed to very small droplets or aerosols that stay in the air for several minutes or hours.

Is it safe to go to NYC? ›

Newsreels and popular media might have you wondering, how safe is NYC for tourists? But we're here to put your mind at ease, off the bat. The truth is that New York City is one of the safest big cities in the world. Visitors are constantly under the protection of the city's friendly and vigilant police force.

How long are you contagious with Omicron? ›

We know that people tend to be most infectious early in the course of their infection. With Omicron, most transmission occurs during the one to two days before onset of symptoms, and in the two to three days afterwards.

Can you work in NYC without a Covid vaccine? ›

Beginning November 1, 2022, New York City private sector employees will no longer be subject to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Does a polio vaccine last forever? ›

Other adults who are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated should talk with their doctor to understand their risk for polio and need for polio vaccination. Adults who completed their polio vaccination but who are at increased risk of exposure to poliovirus may receive one lifetime IPV booster.

Can you refuse the meningitis vaccine? ›

Exemptions: Students may begin classes without a certificate of immunization against meningococcal disease if: 1) the student has a letter from a physician stating that there is a medical reason why he/she can't receive the vaccine; 2) the student (or the student's parent or legal guardian, if the student is a minor) ...

Does the Covid vaccine work against Omicron? ›

Thankfully, the mRNA technology powering our COVID-19 vaccines provides us with a way to respond when variants not only arise but predominate, as is the case with the highly infectious omicron variant. Evidence of this are the updated Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine boosters targeting the omicron variant.

Is it possible to get Covid back to back? ›

Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19.

Can I return to the US without a Covid vaccine? ›

The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines.

Should I still wear a mask? ›

If you are vaccinated, boosted and masked, you have significant protection there, particularly if you are immunocompetent.” If you are immunocompromised, it is important to properly wear a high-quality mask or respirator and remain up to date on COVID-19 vaccinates and boosters.

Do you still have to wear a mask? ›

It is strongly recommended that you wear a face covering when visiting any Health and Social Care setting, and follow other guidance, such as social distancing and using hand washing facilities, to keep patients, other service users and staff safe. These settings include: hospitals. GP surgeries.

Do you still have to wear a mask on a plane? ›

As a result of a court order, effective immediately and as of April 18, 2022, CDC's January 29, 2021 Order requiring masks on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs is no longer in effect.

Which Covid vaccine is safest? ›

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are strongly recommended as safe and effective at preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19. From December 2020 to December 2021, about 470 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the U.S.

How do you get Covid particles out of the air? ›

Use fans to improve air flow
  1. Place a fan as close as possible to an open window blowing outside. This helps get rid of virus particles in your home by blowing air outside. ...
  2. Point fans away from people. ...
  3. Use ceiling fans to help improve air flow in the home whether or not windows are open.

How long does Covid last Omicron vaccinated? ›

How long do omicron symptoms last? Most people who test positive with any variant of COVID-19 typically experience some symptoms for a couple weeks. People who have long COVID-19 symptoms can experience health problems for four or more weeks after first being infected, according to the CDC.

Can Covid be filtered out of air? ›

Air cleaning and filtration can help reduce airborne contaminants, including particles containing viruses.

Is it safe to travel to New York right now 2022? ›

Generally, NYC is a safe place to travel (believe us—it's nothing like Taxi Driver). With some local input, we created this guide to staying safe in New York City. It covers everything from the coronavirus to tips for solo travelers.

What areas should I avoid in New York City? ›

The following are the worst neighbourhoods and districts in New York's Unsafe Areas:
  • Long wood. A Bronx neighbourhood with a population of 33,198 people. ...
  • Fort Greene. ...
  • Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill & Dumbo. ...
  • Garment District. ...
  • Chelsea & Hell's Kitchen. ...
  • Ocean Hill. ...
  • Greenwich Village & Meatpacking District. ...
  • High bridge.
6 Aug 2022

Is it safe to wear a backpack in New York? ›

Yes, backpacks are very very common here, but we are very accustomed to being surrounded by throngs of people and knowing how to aviod thefts from backpacks. NYC has the lowest crime rates of any large city, but that doesn't mean you should be too lackadasical. Pickpocketing and scam artists are the most common crimes.

How long does Omicron test positive? ›

During the Omicron BA. 1 period, 5 days after symptom onset, 80% of participants remained positive via a rapid antigen test. Meaning These findings indicate differences in symptoms in the BA.

How long is Covid Omicron contagious? ›

People are most contagious with COVID-19 during the first 5 days of their illness. Many people don't have any symptoms during the first 2 to 3 days of their illness. This is why COVID-19 outbreaks are so hard to contain. On average, people are contagious for 5 to 10 days.

How long does immunity last after Covid? ›

(2021). Naturally acquired SARS-CoV-2 immunity persists for up to 11 months following infection. The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Is New York requiring Covid test? ›

COVID test is not required when arriving in the US. All arrivals to New York, including citizens and residents, are recommended to present a negative PCR test upon arrival. Vaccinated arrivals from any country can enter as tourists.

What is Covid policy for New York City? ›

COVID-19 is still spreading in NYC, so you should continue to take the following precautions: Wear a high-quality mask in all public indoor settings and around crowds outside. Stay up-to-date on vaccinations. Test before and after travel or gatherings, or if you were recently exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

Is NY still requiring quarantine? ›

As of June 25, 2021, the New York State Travel Advisory is no longer in effect. As such, travelers arriving in New York are no longer required to submit traveler health forms. All travelers, domestic and international, should continue to follow all CDC travel requirements.

What is the Covid law in New York? ›

The law guarantees job-protected paid leave to workers who are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation for COVID-19, issued by the state of New York, the Department of Health, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order, or whose minor dependent ...

How long does COVID stay in the air? ›

The virus spreads when other people breathe in infected droplets or when the droplets land in the eyes, nose or mouth of a person nearby. Infection with the COVID-19 virus may also occur if someone is exposed to very small droplets or aerosols that stay in the air for several minutes or hours.

Which COVID vaccine is safest? ›

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are strongly recommended as safe and effective at preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19. From December 2020 to December 2021, about 470 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the U.S.

Can I fly in the US if I am not vaccinated? ›

The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines.

Do I need proof of vaccination to fly in US? ›

All non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States are required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.

How long will I test positive for COVID after having it? ›

After a positive test result, you may continue to test positive for some time after. You may continue to test positive on antigen tests for a few weeks after your initial positive. You may continue to test positive on NAATs for up to 90 days.

Do you need a Covid test to fly from NY to Florida? ›

COVID test is not required when arriving in the USA.

Do you need a booster to travel? ›

Be aware that some countries are requesting evidence that you completed your COVID-19 vaccine course at least 14 days before arriving in their country. They may also require evidence of a booster dose depending on how long ago you completed your COVID-19 vaccine course.

How long is Covid pay in NY? ›

Some employers in New York State are required to provide at least 5 or 14 days of job protected, paid COVID-19 sick leave to employees who need to take leave because they are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.

Do you get paid in NY if you have Covid? ›

Depending on the size and/or income of the employer, workers can get between 5 to 14 days paid by the employer. Note: Workers can also use Paid Family Leave or disability benefits for the days of quarantine not paid by the employer. Workers should use COVID-19 sick leave first if they must isolate or quarantine.

Do you get paid if you have Covid? ›

If an employee or worker is not able to work because they're ill with COVID-19, they must get any sick pay they're entitled to. Someone might have to self-isolate more than once because of COVID-19.

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