On May 17, 2021, New York State and the Department of Health announced that effective May 19, 2021 New York would adopt new CDC recommendations that vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors, except in certain circumstances.
Mask wearing continues to be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in areas like pre-K through 12 schools, hospitals and doctors offices (including all Rochester Regional Health locations), in nursing homes, on public transportation and in communal living facilities like correctional facilities, homeless shelters and group homes. Private businesses may also require masks for all in their establishments. Unvaccinated individuals over the age of 2 must continue to wear masks in all public settings.
We connected with Melissa Bronstein, infection prevention specialist at Rochester Regional Health to get her take on when we should be wearing our masks both indoors and outdoors.
“According to the CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors except in certain settings and venues,” explained Bronstein. “This is exciting – as more people become vaccinated, we can get back to the things we’re used to doing,” said Bronstein. “It does require people to think about what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with.”
If you're vaccinated you should still wear a well-fitted mask when you're:
The NYS Department of Health also strongly recommends masks in indoor settings where vaccination status of individuals is unknown - including in retail, food service, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment parks, hair salons and barber shops and other personal care service settings.
People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have completed both doses in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson/Janssen).
Those who have not yet been vaccinated for COVID-19, including children who are not yet eligible, should continue to wear masks when in public settings. This includes always wearing a mask indoors in public places and wearing a mask outdoors if you are unable to maintain social distancing.
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