Sunday marked the end of another COVID-era restriction — hospitals and nursing homes in New York will no longer require masks to enter.
“We are in a period of transition … COVID is a treatable, preventable disease,” said acting state Health Commissioner James McDonald while announcing the change in policy.
This development comes on the heels of Mayor Adams ending the vaccine mandate for city workers last week.
But while these are significant signs that the Big Apple has returned to its pre-COVID status quo, there remain stubborn holdouts when it comes to face coverings. The world may have moved on — but that’s not the case in some corners of NYC.
New York City’s public hospitals will still require masks, as will pockets of Gotham’s culture sector.
Last July, Broadway tossed its mask mandate, but some off-Broadway venues haven’t.
The Public Theater has a few performances, which require a mask.
The Atlantic Theatre Company still requires all students, employees and audience members to be masked, according to its site, and did not respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Others such as the Manhattan Theatre Club and the Public Theater have arrived at a compromise on the divisive issue. They set aside a few performances a week for masked audiences only, and for the rest of the shows leave it up to the individual.
A theater vet working on multiple Broadway and off-Broadway shows said these theater rules have helped bring jittery culture vultures back into the fold and buying tickets again.
“While the industry certainly anticipates a time when we can all go maskless, we are in favor of anything that makes the valued theatergoer feel comfortable attending a show, and — in this day-and-age — wearing a mask makes a solid portion of the audience feel more comfortable,” the source told The Post.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater also still insists upon masks.
“For the safety of everyone in the building, all dancers, students, faculty, musicians and staff are always required to wear a mask in class and in public spaces,” reads a statement on its website. (An Alvin Ailey representative did not return a call from The Post inquiring about the policy.)
And a handful of small businesses are still exercising their discretion to uphold their COVID-era rules.
At Community Bookstore, which has two outposts in Brooklyn, masks are mandatory to browse for books, an employee confirmed, noting that some employees and customers are immunocompromised.
Earlier this month, “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert drew widespread mockery across social media after a camera pan to his audience showed they were all masked up.
Colbert’s show requires its studio audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater to “be fully vaccinated and provide in-person verification of vaccination,” according to the official website used to reserve tickets. As for masking, the show ties its policy to the “community risk level” for Manhattan as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“When New York County is in a medium or high community risk level, according to the CDC, masks covering your nose and mouth are required at all times in the theater,” its policy states.
Critics savaged Colbert’s COVID code.
Clay Travis, the founder of sports news site Outkick, labeled the masked attendees “smug anti-science losers” whose “brains are broken.” Another Twitter user quipped: “I’m getting the sense that masks for the left have become similar to open carry for the right.”
— additional reporting by Johnny Oleksinski
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.