SPIRITS LIFTED: Healthcare workers in Kips Bay and around the city—who still need to wear masks on the job—are looking forward to the day they won’t be required, now that pandemic restrictions are easing in schools. (H Conley)

MANHATTAN—As the city lifted the mask mandate for schools and most other indoor spaces this week, hospital workers at NYU Langone’s Tisch and the city’s Bellevue said they are eager to see the need for restrictions fade.

Hospital personnel—like subway and bus riders—are still required to wear masks.

“I’m dying for this thing to go back to normal,” said Janique Nelson, who works in pediatrics. “I’m dying to be able to breathe normally at work.”

Yet even with the city’s COVID-19 infection rate falling dramatically, new variants are always possible.

“It seemed a little bit too quick for me,” one medical resident, who asked not to be identified, said of  the lifting of mask mandates. “Fewer people are dying from it, but there are a lot of positive cases.”

NYCity News Service reporter H Conley has this audio report.