ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Kathy Hochul has released the state’s plan to address the surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant and holiday gatherings.

Gov. Hochul’s 5-part plan includes keeping kids in school, increasing mask and testing supplies, preventing illness and death, boosting vaccinations, and providing resources to local leaders.

Hochul is extending the state’s mandate requiring either proof of vaccination or masks for entry into businesses until February 1.

She says extending the mandate is better than the alternative.

Hochul announced they are opening a mass testing site at Crossgates Mall, which will help address a serious need in Albany County and the Capital Region.

Gov. Hochul says the state will continue to work with local leaders to get more people vaccinated.

Health experts say the vaccines remain the best way you can protect yourself from hospitalizations and severe disease.