NY indoor mask mandate in effect for all public places without vaccine requirement

New York's indoor mask mandate begins Monday, meaning mask-wearing will be required in all indoor public places unless the businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the new mandate on Friday, citing the state's 43% rise in the 7-day average case rate and 29% jump in hospitalizations since Thanksgiving.

Hochul says she will reassess the mandate on January 15, but until then, New Yorkers will need to mask up.

New York will join several states with similar indoor mask mandates, including Washington, Oregon, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, and Hawaii.

Businesses and venues that do not screen for proof of full vaccination will face a $1,000 fine if found in violation of the mask requirement. 

The mandate applies to people ages 2 and up, though customers can remove their masks while eating and drinking at bars and restaurants. 

As of Saturday, December 11, 3,574 people had been hospitalized due to COVID-19, and the state was reporting a 4.63% positivity rate.