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Message from Gov. Hochul on air quality in NY

"Air quality is deteriorating very quickly in New York State as a result of the Canadian wildfires. New Yorkers should be prepared for Air Quality Index levels ranging from 'Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups' to 'Unhealthy' throughout the state today and tomorrow.

But as we saw a few weeks ago, conditions can change very quickly — with potential for temporary spikes to reach 'very unhealthy' or 'hazardous' levels.

As we continue to closely monitor conditions, we’re getting the word out to commuters from Buffalo to Brooklyn on air quality conditions and how they can protect themselves.

From PSA messages on freeways to working with transit companies across the state to share audio and visual messages with riders, we’re making sure New Yorkers can get prepared.

Earlier this month, we made one million masks available for New Yorkers, and we are distributing these high-quality, N95-style masks again to make sure everyone can protect themselves from the smoke and haze.

If you live outside the New York City metro area, check with your county for more information on where you can get a free mask.

As we continue to closely monitor conditions, please stay up to date on the latest information and take appropriate steps to protect their health — especially if you are in a vulnerable group.

Vulnerable groups include children under 18, adults 65 and older, and those with cardiovascular disease (e.g., congestive heart failure, history of prior heart attach) or lung disease (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

How to keep track of air quality:

  • Use your phone's weather app

  • Visit

  • Visit the DEC website

  • Call the air quality hotline: 800-535-1345

Take steps to protect yourself if air quality becomes unhealthy:

  • Limit time outdoors

  • Close windows

  • Consider wearing a high-quality, well-fitted mask

Stay safe, New York."

Gov. Kathy Hochul

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