Before the spring of 2020, the idea of wearing a mask or being required to wear a mask was not a though for many in the United States or New York State. That obviously changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here in New York State, the seven-day average is close to 2.5 percent, but over 4 percent in Western New York.

While numbers are not nearly as bad as they once were here in New York State (especially in March and April of 2020), Governor Kathy Hochul said that she would and could find ways to "make a more strict mask mandate."

Hochul said that the state will continue to closely monitor the numbers and make judgements based on whether or not they peak, stabilize or increase. Hochul does not have the same power former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had during much of the pandemic, due to emergency powers, so the process of implementing a mask mandate would be different this time.

Hochul said if they see a spike in a region they would consider drastic measures.

The Governor says there are ways within her power to do something regarding a mask mandate, even though the emergency powers are gone. That all depends on where the numbers go from here.

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Earlier this week, Hochul expanded vaccine requirements for healthcare workers. She announced that the vaccine mandate would expand to include "employees who work in certain facilities offering health care to individuals served by the Office of Mental Health and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities"

Those healthcare workers must provide proof of at least the first dose of the vaccine by November 1st. Until then, those in these settings must conduct weekly testing starting on October 12th.

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