Statement: Disability groups urge Gov. Hochul to reverse “dangerous” State decision to lift health care masking mandate

Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled (BCID) /

Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS) /

Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY (CIDNY) /

Harlem Independent Living Center (HILC) /

Staten Island Center for Independent Living (SICIL) 

NYC independent living centers urge Governor Hochul to reverse State decision to lift health care masking mandate 

February 10, 2023 

With almost no notice and absolutely no public discussion, Governor Hochul and Acting Health Commissioner McDonald have decided to lift the mask mandate in health care facilities on Sunday. The dangerous decision makes no sense and puts all of us at risk. They must reverse it.   

The State is claiming that COVID-19 transmission rates are low—even though 23 New Yorkers die every day from Covid and there is an average of 3,000 reported cases of Covid, which is undoubtedly well below the actual number.  

Masks work. Medical professionals know this, and extensive research during Covid backs this up. They are a common-sense, cost-effective approach to protecting New Yorkers that hardly burdens people at health facilities. No one was asking to lift the mandate.  

If there’s anything we learned in the last three years, it’s that nursing homes and other health facilities are the absolute last place you want to be in a pandemic. Gov. Hochul’s decision to lift the mask mandate will put disabled people, older people and everyone else at greater risk from this often-deadly disease.  

For more information, contact:

Joe Rappaport, BCID, 646-284-1078 

Brett Eisenberg, BILS, 347-433-3342

Jeff Peters, CIDNY, 929-507-2901

Yonette Lewis, HILC, 917-828-5446  

Michelle Sabatino, SICIL, 718-787-6362