Destiny USA no longer requires masks for guests; individual shops may still need them

SYRACUSE, NY — Destiny USA, the state’s largest mall, will no longer require customers to wear masks starting Thursday.

Individual stores in the mall may still require masks for everyone, officials said in a press release Wednesday.

The updated mask policy follows Gov. Kathy Hochul’s announcement Wednesday that New York’s corporate mask mandate will end on Thursday.

Businesses and local governments can still request masks themselves.

Masks are still required in numerous locations across the state, including schools, daycares, adult care facilities, nursing homes, healthcare facilities, homeless shelters and public transportation.

Falling Covid-19 numbers prompted the decision to lift the mandate for companies, Hochul said.

Masks have been required indoors in state stores since December. Companies could waive the mask rule if they require proof of the Covid 19 vaccination from all customers and employees.

The mask requirement for businesses went into effect December 10 as Covid cases in New York began to rise rapidly due to the more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus.

New cases hit an all-time high of over 90,000 in early January. Hospitalizations surged past 12,000, a level not seen since the winter spike of 2021.

Officials will evaluate the mask mandate for schools in early March after the winter break, Hochul said. Metrics such as cases, positive test rates, hospitalizations, and immunizations will all play a role in decisions about school policies.

Staff writer James McClendon covers breaking news, crime and public safety. Have a tip, story idea, question, or comment? Reach him at 914-204-2815 or [email protected].

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