Workplaces weigh how to move forward with eased mask guidance, vaccinations on the rise


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Last week, New York State adopted CDC guidance saying fully-vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask.

Now, workplaces and businesses are weighing what to do regarding mask-wearing in the office.

Marc Cohen, the Chief of Staff at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, told News 8 the guidance would look different for each workplace in practice.

“I can tell you that we have heard from businesses who are saying, look, we are going to stay masked,” said Cohen.

“But then we’ve heard from people who are going to pull their employees, they’re going to ask, ‘are you vaccinated, can you submit proof of vaccination to the human resources department or the business office?'” Cohen continued, “‘If you submit an adequate proof of vaccination, you are fully able to follow those rules and those guidelines.'”

Holly Anderson, the President and Executive Director of the Breast Cancer Coalition, told News 8 their Rochester office would stay in a hybrid model for the time being.

“Our staff has definitely appreciated being able to work remotely, being able to flex their schedule,” Anderson said.

The Breast Cancer Coalition, a nonprofit in Rochester, offers support to cancer patients and survivors. For safety reasons, services will be kept virtual.

“I anticipate [working remotely] could go on well beyond Covid. As long as employees are productive and meet their timelines and all of that, they’re very appreciative of the flexibility,” said Anderson.

Cohen anticipates the easing of masking mandates will result in net positives for the local economy, whether from customers staying and perusing in businesses for longer periods of time, or for in-person work returning and benefitting surrounding commerce.

“We hope and have every reason to believe that our economy here and in the region will build back stronger,” said Cohen.

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