GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Thursday morning, the Adirondack Thunder announced the end to the COVID-19 face mask mandate at Cool Insuring Arena hockey games and events, effective immediately. The announcement follows one on Wednesday from New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul, announcing the end of the statewide mandate effective on Thursday.

Since the most recent mandate was imposed, businesses were told to either require face masks or proof of coronavirus vaccination. Cool Insuring Arena chose face masks, citing difficulty handling proof of vaccination in large crowds in an arena that seats 4,000.

“Ever since the pandemic started, we have followed local and state guidelines, and is very important to us to continue to do so,” Adirondack Thunder Team President Jeff Mead said. “These guidances allow us to remain open and keep hockey in Glens Falls. It is a group effort and we thank everyone who has helped us get back to this point.”  

The December mask-or-vax mandate was triggered by the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant. The arena asks that unvaccinated visitors wear a face mask, to protect themselves and others.

The Adirondack Thunder is in the middle of its first full season since the COVID-19 pandemic. Their next home game is on Feb. 18 against the Trois-Rivieres Lions. The puck drops at 7 p.m.