New COVID Rules for a New Year

Julie Leon, Staff Writer

Entering the new year, COVID has hit the nation again with it’s new Omicron variant. People were not expecting the beginning of 2022 to be stressful as case numbers start to rise again. This variant is spreading faster and affecting more people each day, and could potentially lead to another national lockdown. More precautions are being announced in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Due to the Omicron surge in the state of New York, Governor Hochul has decided to enforce a “mask or vax” mandate, effective as of December 10, 2021. This mandate requires properly wearing a mask or showing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination prior to entering the building. These rules are highly enforced, especially in New York City where you can be fined up to $1000 if caught not following this mandate. Governor Huchul intended to end the “max or vax” mandate on January 15th, but has extended the rule to February 1st as of right now. 

COVID cases in New York have tremendously increased going into 2022. December 1st, 2021 recorded around 1,000 new cases that day, while December 31st recorded almost 7,000 cases. Because of this huge spike in numbers, Governor Hochchul plans to hand out over 6 million COVID tests to New York schools as of January 3rd, when students return from their holiday break. Giving students access to quick COVID testing will keep students safe while learning in the classroom, according to state officials. 

The intense returning of the Coronavirus from the Omnicron variant has made it seem like this pandemic has been going on for far too long. However, following mandates and being cautious in public places can help us reach the possible end to the pandemic much quicker. Who knows what this persistent virus will bring to 2022, but you can help keeping others safe by “masking up” or “vaxing up”!