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COVID-19: Date Announced When Mask Mandate Will Be Dropped For Vaccinated People In NY

New York State will be adopting the CDC's mask guidance.
New York State will be adopting the CDC's mask guidance. Photo Credit: ny.gov

New York will be loosening its mask and social distance guidance as it follows the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During a COVID-19 briefing at Radio City Music Hall on Monday, May 17, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that as of Wednesday, May 19, the state will be adopting new guidelines for those who are vaccinated.

The new guidance from the federal government calls for continued mask-wearing in more crowded indoor spaces such as on mass transportation, hospitals, prisons, or homeless shelters, but eases restrictions on workplaces, schools, and similar locations.

Fully vaccinated people also will no longer be required to wear masks or social distance.

"We took a couple of days to analyze (the CDC guidelines), and then we aligned it with our guidance, and we did that today," Cuomo said. "Now we're telling vendors and local governments to take notice. It goes into effect on Wednesday, so they have a day to make adjustments.

"Sure, they'll say it's too fast, that they need more than a day, but that's where we are." 

Cuomo noted that immunocompromised and unvaccinated people must continue wearing a mask and social distance themselves from others.

As per the CDC guidance, masks are still required for:

  • Public transportation;
  • Nursing homes;
  • Homeless shelters;
  • Correctional facilities;
  • Schools;
  • Health care facilities.

Cuomo noted that private venues may still impose additional requirements regarding masks or social distance.

“If you are vaccinated, then you are safe, so we're going to follow the CDC guidelines,” the governor said. “Individual venues still have the ability to add additional guidelines to the state guidelines, but for our part, we’re adopting the CDC’s guidelines.

“We have to reopen, and we have to reopen smartly, and reopen with a cautious eye,” Cuomo added. “But we have to get back to life and we have to get back to living, and we have to do it the way New Yorkers do it … Do it quickly and robustly.” 

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