New York’s mask mandate will remain in place until health officials have reviewed new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) allowing for vaccinated people to discard face coverings under most conditions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday.
The governor’s comments came after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced updated guidance during a White House briefing earlier in the day.
Cuomo said in a statement that he and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker had not yet decided if New York would adopt the new guidelines, which would remove the need for masks or social distancing for fully vaccinated Americans.
“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.”
The administration of Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also issued similar comments on Thursday, saying the state will be reviewing the CDC guidance.
Under the new guidance, fully vaccinated Americans are no longer being asked to wear masks or physically distance in any setting except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
However, fully vaccinated individuals should still wear face masks and practice social distancing on public transportation services like buses, trains, and airplanes, as well as in hospitals, homeless shelters, and prisons, according to the CDC.
Walensky said on Thursday: “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities—large or small—without wearing a mask or physically distancing.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” she added.