Governor Hochul to release new winter COVID strategy

ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul is teasing a "Winter Plan 2.0" that she’ll be announcing on New Year’s Eve to combat the COVID-19 surge sparked by the omicron variant.

The governor indicated keeping schools and businesses open continue to be top priorities, despite the recent spike in cases.

During a Monday media briefing, she elaborated on the state’s change in isolation protocols. New York’s guidance will allow vaccinated, essential workers, to return to work after five days if their symptoms have resolved, but they’ll need to wear masks at work.

Just a few hours after she made the announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adjusted its recommendations, saying all adults, regardless of vaccination status, only need to isolate or quarantine for five days.

After that announcement, Hochul sent the following statement:

"As we battle this winter surge, we will keep following the data and science-based public health policies to protect New Yorkers.

"That’s why on Friday I announced guidance to shorten the isolation window for our critical workforce from 10 to 5 days, and I want to thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for now updating its guidance to shorten the recommended time for isolation from 10 to 5 days for everyone who is asymptomatic, as long as they wear a well-fitting mask.

"This is a critical step to support our small businesses, critical industries, and essential services as we get through this new variant."

Regarding schools, Hochul continues to push vaccinations and "test to stay". She’s having a call Tuesday with 500 school superintendents to talk with them about school plans.

Hochul promised a New Year’s Eve briefing during which she plans to announce further plans.

You can watch her full briefing in the video in the player below (mobile users, click here):