New York's top health official on Tuesday told state lawmakers there has been no decision at this point to lift the state's mask mandate for schools as the requirement for businesses could be altered this week by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Her comments to lawmakers at a hearing on the state budget come as neighboring states, including New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, have announced plans to drop the mask rule for schools in the coming weeks.
New York's mask mandate for businesses is set to lapse on Thursday.
"There has been no decision for a date in which the mask mandate in schools will end," Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said. "As you are aware, several neighboring states have announced dates for the mandate to end and all of us should be aware in terms of the omicron surge are all going in the right direction."
A legal challenge to the mask mandate led to the rule be temporarily overturned by a state Supreme Court in Nassau County, only for a stay to be placed on the decision while officials appeal the ruling.
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday met for an hour with education officials to discuss the mask issues facing schools.
"I’m proud of the fact that we’ve been able to keep children safe and in school," Bassett told lawmakers. "And we’ve done that by throwing everything we have in terms of prevention interventions that keeping kids safe in school, and that will remain the priority that we all share."