2.9.22 COVID-19 Bulletin: Hochul Ends Mask Mandate; Poloncarz Will Follow Suit
February 9, 2022
Today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced she will NOT be renewing the state’s mask mandate, so the mandate will expire tomorrow.
The Governor’s announcement failed to proactively address how the removal of the mask mandate coincides with the NY HERO Act. On September 6th, Hochul triggered the HERO Act and has not yet deactivated it. The HERO Act required employees in many settings to wear masks, even before the statewide mask mandate was imposed.
The BNP has reached out to the Governor’s office for clarification on this question and will communicate any updates with you. Use the Department of Labor’s site, the BNP’s employer checklist, and the BNP’s HERO Act webinars for a refresher on what the HERO Act entails.
Hochul also noted that mask mandates remain in place in healthcare facilities, adult care and nursing homes, schools, homeless and domestic violence shelters, and public transit.
Hochul imposed the mandate in December after the Omicron variant sent cases skyrocketing. However, with declining case numbers, Hochul felt comfortable removing the mandate.
In Erie County, which imposed its own mask mandate before the state did, County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced on Twitter that the County will follow the state’s lead and repeal its mandate, effective tomorrow.
If your organization is short on COVID resources, the BNP is here to help. On February 16, the BNP is assisting Erie County with distributing a new supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Erie County businesses, free of charge. [past event - registration closed]
The BNP will keep you informed with any updates on COVID policy.
Update (2/10): The BNP got clarity from the Governor’s office on how this announcement coincides with the NY HERO Act. Learn more on our blog here.
Today, Gov. Kathy Hochul extended the state’s mask mandate for indoor public places through February 10th. The mandate was previously set to expire on Tuesday.
This afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked OSHA’s emergency rule that required employees at workplaces of 100 or more to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or test weekly.
OSHA is set to begin enforcement of its Vax-or-Test Mandate for organizations with 100+ employees on Monday. After months of litigation, the latest U.S. Circuit Court decision upheld the mandate.
On January 5, state legislators convened in Albany (or, on Zoom) to kick off the 2022 legislative session. All eyes are on Kathy Hochul as she navigates her first session as Governor and jockeys for position in the June gubernatorial primary race. Here are eleven issues we are watching as the session begins: