The CDC announced last week that fully vaccinated individuals could refrain from wearing face masks in almost all settings, but said that people would have to defer to their local laws and governance.
Now, Governor Cuomo has finally put out a statement on New York’s policy: that the state will indeed adopt the CDC’s new guidance.
It will officially go into effect on Wednesday, May 19, allowing vaccinated people to refrain from wearing face masks and social distancing except when on public transit, in schools, and some other communal settings. He also said that private venues may choose to require masks.
Of course, unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks.
Mayor De Blasio and the NYC Health Commissioner, Dave Choksi, recently spoke on the specific NYC recommendations:
Mayor De Blasio: The – look, first of all, CDC guidance focuses on people who have been vaccinated. If you’re vaccinated, you win freedom. It’s as simple as that. And the CDC guidance basically says as more and more people become vaccinated, there’s more and more opportunities for that freedom. But it still is very clear about the difference between the outdoor and indoor and certain types of facilities, for example, special care should be taken in health care facilities, schools, congregate settings, mass transit. And again, it also recognizes that if you’re in a setting that combines vaccinated people and unvaccinated people, you’ve got to exercise caution…But ultimately, as I turned to Dr. Choksi, I will say what he always says, we’re going to watch the data. We are seeing great information now, all directly correlated to the level of vaccination. We want people to keep getting vaccinated. We want to keep pushing those numbers down and that will say keep going and offering more freedom, and if we see something else though, we’ll make adjustments.
Commissioner Dave Choksi: First, our starting point is that the CDC guidance is based on sound science for fully vaccinated people. But as the Mayor has said, the issue is in the real-world application of the guidance, because you will have mixing of vaccinated and unvaccinated people. If this happens outdoors, it is low risk and masking, and other precautions can be relaxed. But if it happens indoors, my worry is primarily about the spread of the virus among unvaccinated people, this includes children as well as people for whom immunity from vaccination has not fully kicked in. So, I do recommend continued mask use in many indoor settings until even more people are vaccinated.
UPDATED MASK GUIDANCE:
Vaccinated and unvaccinated New Yorkers will still need to wear masks in:
🚇 Public Transportation
🏥 Health care settings and congregate settings like hospitals and nursing homes https://t.co/jBgaASZYT3
— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) May 19, 2021
The Governor also announced a slew of reopening news, taking place today as well:
Get ready for a major reopening of New York State this Wednesday! pic.twitter.com/E2VeD27Cly
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 17, 2021
featured image source: Shutterstock