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Fully vaccinated New Yorkers waiting on state to drop their masks

May 14, 2021

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New Yorkers who are fully vaccinated can’t drop their masks just yet. The state says they are still reviewing the CDC’s new masking guidance.

“It’s a huge weight off of all of our chests, and to think that we are getting towards the end of things,” said Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, Commissioner of Health at Albany County Dept. Of Health.

A face mask has been something we can’t leave the house without, but soon we could be hanging it up for good. The CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can ditch their masks with just a few exceptions.

Leslie Silva, a partner at Tully Rinckey says there will be some limitations.

“It’s going to be up to businesses independently to decide how they plan to tackle this. We are not sure if are they going to screen people, or if they are only going to allow vaccinated people in their businesses. We will have to see what processes they are going to require,” said Silva.

“Those decisions will likely be made on a state basis and also they will be made at the county level and that the individual business level,” said Dr. Whalen.

The new guidance says masks can be removed indoors in smaller settings such as work, schools, restaurants, and more if you’re fully vaccinated. However Silva says it can be hard to tell whose vaccinated or not.

“That brings up the issue of a vaccine passport and if it’s something that businesses want to use. There are a number of them that are being developed. It may be something that businesses want to look into,” said Silvia.

New York has already developed a digital proof of the COVID-19 vaccination with the Excelsior Pass.

As more people get vaccinated, many say they are ready to let go of their masks.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’m tired of wearing these masks,” said Kelli Flansburg.

“I feel like maybe I wouldn’t wear in school just because I feel a little bit more safer in school,” said Rachel Stein.

While others say they are not ready to let go just yet.

“It’s important to make sure everyone does their part, so if we have to wear the masks for a little awhile longer thats okay too,” said Tom Caracciloi.

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