Mask Confusion: New York’s Mask Rule Still Overrides CDC Guidance
Top lawmakers in the Hudson Valley are urging Gov. Cuomo to "implement the CDC’s common-sense guidance" on masks.
Last Thursday, the CDC announced fully vaccinated Americans can ditch masks in most indoor and outdoor settings. People who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks or physically distance in most circumstances, indoors or outdoors, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
While millions of Americans are unmasking, New York State has its own mask mandate which actually supersedes any CDC recommendation.
Gov Cuomo released a statement and said his team needs time to review the new CDC guidance.
"In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of this pandemic and in our successful reopening. We have received the newly revised guidance from the CDC regarding mask wearing and social distancing for those with vaccinations and are reviewing them in consultation with Dr. Zucker and our partners and health experts in surrounding states," Cuomo stated.
Many expected Cuomo to make an announcement about masks this weekend. However, the weekend flew by without Cuomo giving New Yorker's an update. His team simply said New York health officials are still reviewing the data.
On Sunday, Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, Rockland County Executive Ed Day, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Putnam County Executive Mary Ellen Odell and Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan released a joint statement urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to adopt the CDC’s guidance and allow fully vaccinated residents to return to normalcy and discard masks and the need for social distancing outdoors and in most indoors settings.
“New York needs to follow the science-backed guidance of the CDC. As we continue to see active cases, hospitalizations and deaths steadily dropping day by day and more people receiving vaccinations, the Governor should implement the CDC’s common sense guidance. We also encourage residents who have not been vaccinated to make that a priority so efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 can be successful," the executives said in a joint statement.
The CDC says its safe for fully vaccinated people to do the following activities without a mask:
- Walk, run, wheelchair roll, or bike outdoors with members of your household
- Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends
- Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Dine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households
- Attend a crowded, outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports event
- Visit a barber or hair salon
- Go to an uncrowded, indoor shopping center or museum
- Attend a small, indoor gathering of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Go to an indoor movie theater
- Attend a full-capacity worship service
- Sing in an indoor chorus
- Eat at an indoor restaurant or bar
- Participate in an indoor, high intensity exercise class
Unvaccinated Americans must continue to wear a mask.
Masks are still recommended for all in crowded indoor settings and hospitals, airplanes, buses and trains. Those with compromised immune systems are told to speak with their doctors about masks and social distancing.