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New York lifts mask mandate for the fully vaccinated

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (WWNY) - New York state is adopting the guidance the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last week for not wearing a mask if you’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks both outdoors and indoors in most cases as of Wednesday.

“This comes at a good time for New York,” the governor said.

Wednesday is the day New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut had already planned to lift most capacity restrictions.

“We have to reopen, we have to reopen smart, we have to reopen with a cautious eye, but we have to get back to life.

Fully vaccinated people also don’t need to maintain six-foot distancing.

People who are not vaccinated or who are immunocompromised still have to wear masks and maintain distancing.

Masks will still be required for everyone on public transportation, nursing homes, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, schools, and health care facilities.

While it’s moving in the right direction, Jefferson County Legislature Chair Scott Gray wishes more people in the area had become vaccinated before this move was made.

“If I had my choice, maybe if we would have gotten closer to 60 percent vaccinated - you know - a little bit greater than halfway, probably would have been the optimal time, in my opinion,” he said.

Another sign that things are better: the 7-county regional north Country COVID Control Board is finished. The board was getting almost-daily updates and directions from the governor’s office on how to handle cases, outbreaks and reopening. That group came to an end Friday.

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