Governor Kathy Hochul instituted a mask mandate set to end on Feb. 10. That mandate is pending a court decision whether the Governor has the constitutional authority to order people to wear a face covering. Most of the general public has been wearing a mask for the last 2 years, but just because the mandate is set to end, mask wearing will likely continue.
Utica Resident Delilah Martinez says, "I mean it’s tiring because it’s hard for people to breathe who is asthmatic as myself. It’s hard sometimes to breathe but I’d rather secure myself and have my mask on, on a regular daily basis."
Utica Resident Hector Cruz says "Until things get better. Once I see that people not dying, and things are turning around then maybe I might take it off you know what I mean, but other than that, I'll comply. Listen it's just a simple mask you know what I mean.
It may be just a simple mask, but it comes with strong opinions.
"It’s a lot of drama over this, but like I said I feel if you have a vaccine, I don’t think you should need the mask," said Utica resident Kyle Genier.
Vaccinated or not the mask mandate is becoming a growing issue among many school districts.
"I hate to see it. They’re suffering these kids. They can hardly breathe, they can hardly talk. They need to have those kids take the masks off their face," said Tommy Haden, of Utica.
Utica Resident Lorenzo Jackson says "Even after this mandate is over, if we don’t continue to wear it it’s only going to increase the epidemic. Those are my feelings about it."
Utica Resident Albert Snyder believes feelings are really what the mask mandates are all about.
"That’s what I feel the mask mandate is for. It makes other people feel better about not contracting it because in all actuality the science of it, this does not protect you against any COVID," he said. "You need an N-95. That’s the only thing that protects against COVID."
Even if a public mask mandate is lifted or declared unconstitutional, private businesses can still require you to wear a mask within their facilities.