Yesterday Governor Kathy Hochul announced New York State would lift its mask mandate. The state previously mandated indoor businesses to either require proof of vaccination or mask wearing. According to CNBC, New York has seen a steep drop in COVID numbers after the winter surge fueled by the Omicron variant. The governor clarified that local governments would still be allowed to enforce their own masking rules. The state will continue to require masks in schools until at least next month.
Following Governor Hochul’s announcement, the Tompkins County Health Department is continuing to urge residents to wear masks. According to 14850.com, the county released a statement saying the county mask advisory was still in effect. The statement also urged businesses to continue to require masks indoors. The county also announced it would distribute 250,000 KN95 masks through various local governments and organizations.
Ithaca College has lowered its COVID-19 status to Green, indicating a lower risk to the campus community. According to the Ithacan, the college began the semester at Yellow, meaning a low to moderate risk. IC saw a surge in COVID cases shortly before winter break, largely attributed to the SantaCon event held in early December. As of February 8th the college had 7 student cases and 9 faculty cases of COVID-19. In mid-December the college had over 120.
Yesterday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave the greenlight for congress to begin crafting legislation that would ban congress members from owning stocks. According to Spectrum News most members of New York’s Congressional Delegation don't own any stocks. However, Spectrum also found that at least 5 representatives do personally own stocks. Republican Chris Jacobs and Democrat Tom Suozzi have the largest portfolios. According to financial disclosures, Ithaca’s current Representative Tom Reed did list some stocks as part of an IRA owned by his wife. The legislation is still in its early stages, but may ultimately prohibit congress members’ immediate families from owning stocks as well.