Masks are now optional on public transit, public shelters, and correctional facilities in New York State.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced masking requirements will remain in effect at state-regulated health care facilities, adult care facilities, and clinical settings.
She said the state will continue following COVID-19 data and will adjust policies as needed.
Hochul also announced that the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters are now available in New York State. These boosters are designed to add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants and bolster previous vaccination protection. The announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s recommendation to use updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for anyone age 12 or older and from Moderna for those 18 or older.
To be eligible to receive the updated booster, individuals must have completed their original vaccine series or received a booster at least two months before.
New Yorkers should contact their regular health care provider, local pharmacy, or local county health department about getting the booster. New Yorkers can also visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby vaccination locations.
Hochul said in the coming weeks, the CDC is expected to announce updated COVID-19 boosters for younger pediatric groups. Until then, the monovalent mRNA Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine remains authorized for use as boosters in children ages 5 through 11 and for all primary series vaccinations.
According to the New York State COVID-19 Testing Tracker, Chautauqua County’s seven-day average positivity rate is 12.5%. The CDC Community Level is now at medium. At this level, the CDC recommends wearing a mask if you have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID. They also recommend wearing a mask on public transportation.