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Covid-19: Hochul defends vaccine mandate while ordering new mask-wearing edicts

Covid-19: Hochul defends vaccine mandate while ordering new mask-wearing edicts

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Sept. 15, 2021

Hochul defends vaccine mandate while ordering new mask-wearing edicts

ALBANY – Battling the Covid-19 spread on legal and public health fronts, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday that the state will “vigorously” defend a vaccine edict for health care workers while also imposing new mask-wearing mandates on state-regulated child care facilities, after-school programs and congregate and residential settings such as substance abuse programs and inpatient mental health facilities.

“We’re hoping we will make overwhelming, persuasive arguments in support of allowing the state of New York to do what is necessary to protect the public health," Hochul said about the state’s appearance before a federal judge in Utica who on Tuesday halted the looming vaccine mandate for health care workers, no matter whether someone has a religious objection.

"It's the smart thing to do and we have to continue the mandates," Hochul added. "This is not intended to be dictatorial; this is intended to save lives."

Hochul, sounding worried about more people gathering indoors as the more contagious Delta variant is spreading in many communities, said the “scariest announcements” each day involve the growing number of children contracting Covid-19.

With children under 12 not permitted to receive a vaccine, Hochul said the state will expand mask requirements to include more settings with children, such as child care facilities for those over the age of 2. She said it expands upon the state’s recent requirement for face coverings to be worn in schools across the state.

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