Destiny USA no longer requiring masks for guests; individual stores may still require them

Syracuse, N.Y. — Destiny USA, the state’s largest shopping mall, will no longer require customers to wear masks starting Thursday.

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

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

Businesses and local governments will still be allowed to require masks on their own.

Masks will still be required statewide in numerous places, including schools, child care centers, adult care facilities, nursing homes, health care settings, homeless shelters and on public transportation.

Declining Covid-19 numbers prompted the decision to lift the mandate for businesses, Hochul said.

Masks have been required indoors at businesses in the state since December. Businesses could forgo the mask rule if they required proof of Covid-19 vaccination from all customers and employees.

The mask requirement for businesses took effect Dec. 10 just as Covid cases began to spike rapidly in New York due to the more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus.

New cases reached an all-time high of over 90,000 in early January. Hospitalizations soared over 12,000, reaching a level not seen since the winter surge of 2021.

Officials will assess the mask mandate for schools in early March, after winter break, Hochul said. Metrics including cases, positive test rates, hospitalizations and vaccinations will all play a role in decisions on school rules.

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