New York state will end mask mandates and adopt CDC guidelines for the fully vaccinated beginning Wednesday, but New York City’s health commissioner is still recommending masks indoors.
Dr. Dave Chokshi said he will still wear a mask indoors — and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
“I do recommend continued mask use in many indoor settings until even more people are vaccinated,” he said. “And personally, while I am fully vaccinated, I’ll be keeping my mask indoors in almost all settings. When I put it on, I will be thinking about the sense of community and the social norms, particularly around masking and distancing, that helped us get to this very hopeful stage of the pandemic.”
He and Mayor Bill de Blasio said more New York City residents still need to be vaccinated, and until that happens, steps to keep people safe should be taken.
“CDC guidance focuses on who has been vaccinated,” de Blasio said. “If you are sitting in a combined vaccinated people and unvaccinated people, you’ve to exercise caution. I think that’s what a lot of people are going to do. They are going to keep wearing masks any time it feels appropriate. I think a lot of different institutions will make their own decisions on what makes sense, but ultimately, we are going to watch the data.”
More than seven and a half million New Yorkers have been vaccinated, millions more and weeks sooner than the mayor’s original goal of five million by June.
The MTA held a press conference Tuesday encouraging people to return to mass transit and support local businesses at the same time. Masks will still be required in the transit system, indefinitely.
Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Monday, but said immunocompromised people and unvaccinated people should wear a mask and social distance.
“If you are vaccinated, you are safe, no masks, no social distancing,” he said. “We are also going to follow the CDCs guidelines that you will still have to wear a mask on public transportation in the subways, buses, nursing homes, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, schools, health care facilities.”
The governor said the state has to reopen smart. “We have to reopen with a cautious eye, but we have to get back to life,” he said. “We have to get back to life and living. We have to do it the way New Yorkers do it, quickly and robustly.”