New York Lifts Mask Mandate in Health Care Settings Following CDC Recommendations

New York has lifted its mask mandate in health care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and treatment centers.[0] This decision, which came on Sunday, follows the latest federal recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the Department of Health (DOH), the policy change is intended to align the state’s guidance with the CDC’s, which calls on health facilities to determine their masking rules based on transmission levels.[1]

Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said in a statement, “The pandemic is not over, yet we are moving to a transition. As we do, and with safe and effective vaccines, treatments, and more, we are able to lift the State’s masking requirement in health care settings as operators now develop and implement their own facility-specific plans, in accordance with federal CDC guidance and the level of transmission in their areas.”[2]

The DOH is advising health care facilities to follow the CDC guidelines and come up with their own plan for when masks will be required, based on community case levels.[3] Private practices have the option to set their own mask requirements, and the masking requirement could be implemented again at any time when COVID-19 transmission levels are high enough to trigger that recommendation by the CDC.[4]

The spokesperson for the Greater New York Hospital Association, Brian Conway, declared that the member hospitals and health systems are not against the expiry of the mandate.[5] He stated that they are equipped to leverage their considerable internal knowledge and experience to make the most beneficial masking decisions for both their patients and personnel.[5]

Dr. McDonald retrieved his mask from his pocket and emphatically expressed to the panel the necessity of maintaining vaccination and booster efforts, while making it clear that his mask would not be removed.[3] Dr. Michael Apostolakos, chief medical officer of Strong Memorial Hospital, said they want to look at the situation in detail before making any changes. “Masking in hospitals has helped stop the spread of disease and protect our patients,” he said.[6]

Dr. McDonald also said, “We would like to look at the situation in great detail and make sure we don’t make a mistake.

0. “NY lifts health care mask mandate for hospitals, nursing homes” The Journal News, 10 Feb. 2023,

1. “NY state eases mask mandate for medical facilities and nursing homes” Gothamist, 12 Feb. 2023,

2. “NYS Drops One of Its Last Remaining Mask Mandates This Weekend: What to Know” NBC New York, 11 Feb. 2023,

3. “New York to end masking mandate for healthcare facilities” WETM –, 10 Feb. 2023,

4. “Mask Mandate To End In NY Hospitals Sunday: Department Of Health” Patch, 11 Feb. 2023,

5. “Report: New York state ending mask rule for hospitals, doctors' offices” The Daily News Online, 10 Feb. 2023,

6. “Local hospitals won't drop mask requirement despite state's move to end COVID-era rule”, 11 Feb. 2023,