In an effort to help curb the winter COVID surge and keep business open, New York is putting a new mask and proof of vaccination mandate into place.

In a plan announced by Governor Hochul earlier today, the new mandate would require "...masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement." The new mandate will start this Monday, December 13th, and will run through Saturday, January 15th. At the end of the mandate period, the state will assess the need to end or extend the measure based on the COVID climate at that time.

The decision to put the mandate into play was made based on increasing hospitalizations and a rise in the 7-day infection rate. Governor Hochul added "As Governor, my two top priorities are to protect the health of New Yorkers and to protect the health of our economy. The temporary measures I am taking today will help accomplish this through the holiday season."

It is hard to believe we are back at this point where mass mandates are deemed necessary, but hopefully the idea of getting in front of the surge with a mask mandate has the positive effect everyone is looking for. The last thing anyone wants to see is any hinderance to the economy because of COVID.

Capital Region Cities, Towns, & Villages Opted-Out Of Marijuana Sales

As New York prepares to roll out marijuana dispensaries, the following 22 Capital Region municipalities have opted out of marijuana sales and businesses for the time being according to the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Cities and towns can decide to opt-in down the road if they choose.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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