The announcement followed canceled performances by a number of Broadway shows and decisions by some New York colleges to cancel some activities or conduct final exams remotely.
In another effort to contain the virus’s spread, Ms. Hochul has also said that state officials planned to change the definition of fully vaccinated to include receiving a booster dose.
“People who are certainly eligible, we want them to do it, but, in terms of requirement, we just have to make sure that we adapt to that flexibility required, but we’ll get it done,” the governor said in an interview on CNN. She noted that people who had recently been vaccinated were not yet eligible to receive booster shots.
In New York City in recent days, case counts have doubled from a week ago.
“This big jump, that only happens when something big changes and the only big thing that has changed citywide is Omicron,” said Dr. Denis Nash, an epidemiology professor at the CUNY School of Public Health. However, there is little reliable, up-to-date data indicating what percentage of the new cases in the city are being caused by the variant.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has encouraged New Yorkers to get booster shots expeditiously.
“People need to get vaccinated right now, get that booster right now,” he said on Thursday. “If they are not feeling well, get tested right now. It’s an urgent situation.”
On Thursday, the mayor announced a plan to confront the surge in cases by, among other plans, distributing a million free KN95 masks and 500,000 at-home tests, enforcing mask and vaccine mandates more rigorously and expanding hours and capacity at city-run testing sites.
The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things to Know
Many New Yorkers have been rushing lately to get at-home testing kits, with some stores selling out, and the lines of people waiting at some testing sites have wrapped around blocks. The Omicron variant has been tearing across New York, including among vaccinated people.