NY reviewing CDC recommendations on dropping masks for fully vaccinated people

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 May 2021 at 9:32 am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Thursday that fully vaccinated adults don’t need to wear masks in indoor or outdoor gatherings, large or small.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the new guidance and said it is based on new studies from people in Israel and the U.S. who’ve been vaccinated.

She said a federal mask requirement will remain in effect for people, whether vaccinated or not, who ride buses, trains, airplanes and when they are in stations and airports.

“If you are fully vaccinated against #COVID19, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, incl. local business and workplace guidance,” the CDC tweeted on Thursday.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state isn’t yet ready to adopt the CDC guidelines. He wants a review led by Dr. Howard Zucker, commissioner of the Department of Health.

“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,” Cuomo said. “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.”

A person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose Johnson &  Johnson vaccine.

The CDC issued these recommendations for fully vaccinated people with mask-wearing (this doesn’t apply to healthcare settings):

  • Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible