Health officials just announced that New York State has ended its mask-related requirements inside healthcare settings, from hospitals to nursing homes and doctors’ offices. Moving forward, all facilities will be allowed to come up with their own rules.
As a reminder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually lifted similar guidelines back in September, so the state’s choice to let the mandate expire brings the area in line with federal-level recommendations.
“We are in a period of transition […] COVID is a treatable, preventable disease,” said acting state health commissioner James McDonald on Friday when announcing the news. “It allows us to shift from blanket mandates to an approach in which we provide people with the information and tools they need to protect themselves. We’ve given health care facilities and the general public the information they need to protect themselves.”
Of course, healthcare facilities are being asked to follow the CDC’s directions to come up with their own in-house rules moving forward—but, overall, medical experts seem to be in agreement with the development.
“We are not opposed to the mask mandate expiring,” said Greater NY Hospital Association spokesman Brian Conway in an official statement to the New York Post. “New York’s hospitals are well prepared to use their vast expertise and experience to make masking decisions that are in the best safety interests of their patients and workforce. And they’ll make those decisions on a daily basis based on a variety of factors, including community transmission rates.”
The resolution follows the elimination of COVID-19 vaccination requirements at both the state and city level, effectively catapulting the citizenry into a new phase of the pandemic, one that will hopefully portent happier, safer times.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.