UPDATED 9:25 AM PT – Saturday, December 11, 2021
The Empire State is ramping up its COVID restrictions in light of the new variant. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is proving that once you unmask, you’re bound to go back.
Andrew Cuomo’s successor announced on Friday that any indoor business without a vaccine requirement must require patrons to wear a face mask. Any violators will be fined $1,000 per infraction.
Hochul reassured New Yorkers things could be worse.
“I don’t want to go back ever again to that place where people couldn’t go to their jobs safely, couldn’t congregate, kids couldn’t go to schools,” Hochul said. “That isolation had a devastating effect on the human condition and we’re still dealing with the fallout today.”
Not to be outdone by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), Hochul is pushing the rest of the state to catch up to the Big Apple’s strict vaccination and mask requirements. Hochul commended New York City residents for complying with the heavy handed restrictions.
“Many people in New York City are already dealing with this, been dealing with it for awhile. You’ve been doing great and that is why your hospital capacity is good,” she said. “That’s why your vaccination numbers are high, your infections are not as high as the rest of the state, but the rest of the state now has a wake up call.”
-268,372 Test Results Reported
-3,546 Hospitalizations (+48)
-55 new deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS pic.twitter.com/BGFaHiXv5U
— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) December 10, 2021
Some skeptics believe the move will hurt small businesses struggling to recover from the restrictions. However, Hochul claimed she’s actually protecting business owners and that the mandate will be temporary.
“My plan is to make it temporary. It starts on Monday. We’ll reassess on January 15 just so businesses have a clarity, they don’t find out last minute. We’ve been talking to businesses throughout the week to make sure they know what’s happening,” Hochul affirmed.
Statewide case rates have jumped 43 percent per seven-day period, despite 80 percent of New Yorkers having at least one dose of the vaccine.