NYC mask guidance: Health commissioner clears up mask confusion, vaccine efforts

Coronavirus

NEW YORK — Many New Yorkers have been hesitant to shed their masks despite the city’s latest mask guidance allowing vaccinated people to ditch the face coverings.

New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said he plans to keep his mask on for now. He also broke down the new mask guidance and clears up any confusion people may have.

Chokshi said everything falls down to two main questions: Are you fully vaccinated or unvaccinated? And Are you indoors or outdoors?

The health commissioner said fully vaccinated people will be safe in every activity, even without a mask.

Those who are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated must continue to follow mask-wearing protocols and guidelines.

When you’re indoors, you’re at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, Chokshi said.

If there is a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people, he suggested we continue wearing masks until more people get vaccinated.

When asked if the city is providing guidance for businesses, Chokshi said they are taking federal CDC guidelines and marrying it with state guidance. The health commissioner also said if businesses can verify vaccination status for anyone upon entering the establishment, they can forgo many restrictions.

However, Chokshi said there was still a significant number of New Yorkers who are not fully vaccinated, acknowledging vaccination efforts need to be doubled. 

As for now, he said people should still take precautions that have worked in previous months.

“It’s vaccinations that will carry us through the home stretch,” he said.

When asked if vaccinated people should worry if they are in a place with unvaccinated people, Chokshi said they are very protected, but they should also think about those who are around us.

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