With New Jersey And Connecticut Moving To End Mask Mandates, Will New York Be Next? – Gadget Clock
HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Tri-State Area governors are working to remove mask mandates.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont recommended the state’s mandate ends Feb. 28, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the mandate for schools will end March 7.
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There’s no word yet from New York, but it could come as early as this week.
As CBS2’s John Dias reported, Hoboken’s indoor mask mandate for businesses ends Wednesday, since COVID-19 infections are plummeting in the county.
Schools across the state will have to wait a bit longer, but it’s a major step forward in the fight for a more traditional classroom.
“We’re not going to manage COVID to zero. We have to learn how to live with COVID as we move from a pandemic to the endemic phase of this virus,” Murphy said Monday.
The governor said the state is ready to lift the mask mandate in schools starting March 7, pointing to declining Omicron cases and hospitalizations, as well as vaccination rates and availability among children. The new rule also applies to child care settings.
However, individual district leaders can keep mask policies in place if they choose. Newark Public Schools — the state’s largest district — is doing just that.
A Kearny High School, teachers and parents gathered for a roundtable on COVID learning loss and reacted to the news.
“I feel like that’s mad cool,” student Anthony Alba said.
“I teach 7-year-olds, so I’m constantly telling them to keep their masks up. So I think it would be something they look forward to,” said teacher Susan Peso.
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“I’m still going to wear mine,” another person added.
In Connecticut, Lamont announced he’s recommending to end the state mask mandate on Feb. 28, saying it will also be left up to school districts.
The plan is essentially up to the Connecticut General Assembly. The Public Health Committee has a hearing Tuesday.
“Ninety-plus percent of our folks have had some level of immunity. That makes an enormous difference,” Lamont said.
In New York, after almost two months of the temporary mask rules in place, the state mask mandate for businesses is set to expire on Feb. 10, and the school mask mandate on the 21st.
Gov. Kathy Hochul is expected to make a major announcement Wednesday, and could end it sooner.
“We are improving, hospitalizations are getting better all across the state,” she said. “That’s exactly the metric I’m looking at.”
Back in New Jersey, there are only local rules — no statewide mandate — for masks in most indoor settings. But masks are still required in high-risk areas, like public transit and hospitals.
Murphy said he is also looking into lifting the mandate in state buildings.
From coast to coast, other states are also changing their mask mandates. In Delaware, most people will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors starting Friday. Their school mask mandate expires at the end of the month.
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In California, people who are vaccinated will no longer have to wear masks will indoors starting Feb. 15