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Governor Hochul Announces Mask or Vaccination Regulation Throughout New York State


On December 10, 2021, Governor Hochul announced masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. The requirement was implemented through a New York State Health Commissioner Order. Click here to see full order.

This requirement went into effect on Monday, December 13, 2021 and will continue through January 15, 2022, at which time the State will re-evaluate next steps.

Indoor public place is defined by the order as any indoor space that is not a private residence. This order provides two options for public establishments:

  1. Require all individuals who enter to show proof of vaccination upon entry and not allow unvaccinated residents to enter
  2. OR, allow all individuals to enter but require everyone to wear a mask

A mix and match or a hybrid approach is not permitted by this regulation. A business or venue must choose whether it will implement a full-course vaccine requirement or a mask requirement.

New York State has developed signs to help enforce this regulation – one for entities that choose all fully vaccinated and one for those that choose all masked

At this time, New York State has indicated counties should focus on education only for a minimum of the next two weeks to garner community support and compliance. Beyond this, Dutchess County has been advised against and will not divert critical health department resources away from other activities for the purpose of enforcement. The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health remains committed to our COVID-19 response through education and sharing information for residents about the importance of vaccination and other common sense mitigation measures, as well as ensuring community access and availability of testing, vaccinations and boosters.

Many common questions can be answered by the FAQ provided by New York State. For further questions on the newest regulation call the NYS hotline: 1-888-364-3065.