New York Capital Brief:

Mask Mandates Lifted for Businesses and Schools

Due to declining trends in new COVID cases and New York State’s strong vaccination rates, Governor Hochul has lifted the school mask mandate, with Wednesday March 2nd marking the first day children are no longer required to wear masks in school. This comes shortly after the ‘Mask or Vax’ mandate for all indoor businesses was lifted on February, 10th.

NYC is still requiring proof of vaccination to dine indoors, attend events at arenas, work out at gyms and go to the movies.

However, Mayor Eric Adams said that New York City was preparing to eliminate those vaccine requirements as well as the school mask mandates by March 7th if reports of new coronavirus cases in the city continue to decline.


Booster Mandate Delayed

Enforcement of New York’s COVID-19 booster mandate for medical workers, which was set to take effect February 14th, will be delayed at least three months amid concerns it would trigger staffing shortages, state officials said.

“While we are making progress with 75% of staff received or are willing to receive their booster, the reality is that not enough health care workers will be boosted by next week’s requirement in order to avoid substantial staffing issues in our already overstressed health care system,” Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said.


New York State Party Conventions

On February 17th the New York State Democratic Party Convention concluded with the nomination of current Governor Kathy Hochul as the Party nominee with 85% of the vote.

Other successful Party nominees include, Sen. Charles Schumer, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Attorney General Letitia James, and Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, all incumbents.

Hochul’s Democratic challengers, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and US Rep. Tom Suozzi, have declared their intentions to gather the necessary 15,000 signatures to be on the June 28th primary ballot.

On March 1st the New York State Republican Convention concluded with the nomination of U.S Representative Lee Zeldin as the Party nominee for Governor. Zeldin who currently represents the 1st congressional district of New York which encompasses two-thirds of Suffolk County on Long Island, has secured strong support within the State’s Republican party.

Zeldin is likely to face a primary challenge from at least one or potentially all three of his rivals for nomination. Businessman Harry Wilson, former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, and former Trump administration official Andrew Giuliani all vowed to move forward with taking their case directly to GOP voters this June.