As Hochul lifts mask mandate, focus shifts to schools

In New York, for example, proof of vaccination is required to dine indoors, attend events at arenas, train at gyms, and go to movies. This requirement was put in place through a program known as “Key to NYC”, which was implemented by an executive order of the mayor. The order was renewed every five days, most recently on Tuesdays.

Officials in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have all announced they will end mask requirements for students and school employees in the coming weeks, highlighting an intentional shift by officials to begin treat the virus as part of everyday life almost two years later. the pandemic.

The cascade of recent mask announcements appeared to stem from conversations that took place within the National Governors Association and a recent meeting with the White House. Follow-up calls last week between the chiefs of staff of various governors, including Governor Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey, vice chairman of the association, created further momentum.

On Monday, Mr. Murphy, a Democrat, announced he would eliminate the state’s school mask mandate in the second week of March. Democratic leaders in other states have followed suit: Connecticut said its school mask mandate will expire Feb. 28, and Delaware and Oregon will both end their mandates by March 31. .

The details of the mask mandates and the politics around them have varied from state to state.

New Jersey, for example, hasn’t had an indoor mask mandate since Memorial Day; there are no vaccination requirements to enter gyms or restaurants, except in Newark, which has imposed stricter restrictions than the rest of the state.

The move to New York – where more than 67,000 people have died from the coronavirus – comes as the state’s seven-day case average fell to its lowest level since Nov. 30, with hospitalizations also falling.

New York’s virus-related restrictions have ebbed and flowed over the past year as officials tinkered and changed mandates in response to case numbers.

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