The House lifted its mask mandate in the Capitol complex ahead of President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and New York.
- District of Columbia: Capitol physician Brian Monahan on Sunday announced the end of the mask mandate for the Capitol complex. This comes just days before President Biden's State of the Union address. According to CDC's updated masking guidance, the District of Columbia is currently a "green level" area, meaning Covid-19 transmission is low and individuals do not need to wear a mask. However, Monahan said there would be other "coronavirus risk reduction measures" in place during President Biden's address, "with the exception that, KN95 or N95 mask wear is no longer required and mask wear is now an individual choice option." (Oshin, The Hill, 2/27)
- New Jersey: The New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) asked Gov. Phil Murphy (D) to postpone the Feb. 28 Covid-19 booster shot deadline for all health care workers. The organization asked Murphy for a 90-day extension. "New Jersey hospitals simply need more time to have those necessary one-on-one conversations with staff to promote the benefits of the booster, dispel misinformation and increase the number of health care workers who are fully up to date on vaccination," said NJHA President Cathleen Bennett. (Gamble, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/25)
- New York: Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Sunday announced that the state's school mask mandate will be lifted, effective Wednesday. In a tweet, Hochul said the decision to lift the requirement was based on declining Covid-19 cases as well as CDC's updated masking guidance. According to Hochul, cities and county governments will still be able to require masks in schools after the statewide order ends. In addition, parents and guardians will still be allowed to send their children to school with masks. "We will lift the statewide requirement based on all the data that I've just outlined. However, there are some counties in the state that have a higher rate of transmission—we will allow them the flexibility to determine what's best for their county. We would encourage them to take a look at this and follow the CDC, but this will no longer be a mandate," Hochul said. (Oshin, The Hill, 2/27)