It's been two and a half years since the start of COVID-19 in New York State, and for the rest of the country for that matter.

After a long two years, restrictions were finally lifted in states around the United States, as more individuals were vaccinated and boosted, which has allowed us to get back into a sense of normalcy here in thee State of New York.

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On Wednesday, after step was made in that sense or normalcy, as New York Governor Kathy Hochul made an announcement regarding masks.

Governor Hochul announced that starting today (Wednesday, September 7th, 2022), masks in New York will be "options" in some places that had previously been required.

That includes mass transit, according to Hochul.

However, Governor Hochul also said that masks are still required at state-regulated healthcare facilities and clinical settings.

The state government is still encouraging everyone to wear masks when in settings, such as mass transit, but it is no longer required.

According to the New York State website, masks are still required at healthcare facilities, nursing homes, correction facilities and domestic violence shelters.

The state website also says that reinfection rates have slowly diminished since early July, which is good news in the fight against COVID-19 and its variants.

Long Island has the current highest infection rate (per 100k people) at 6.7 percent, while Western New York's is at 4.3, the Finger Lakes are at 2.5 and the statewide number is 4.8.

It remains to be seen if more updates are made to the masking requirements by the start of winter and the colder weather.

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