Gov. Cuomo deciding whether to change mask mandate after CDC guidance change

New York State

May 12, 2021 – Buffalo, NY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo makes an announcement at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to say whether he will change his state’s mask mandate in light of new federal guidance that eases rules for fully vaccinated people.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that the state’s mask mandate is still in place as his administration reviews the new federal guidance and consults with health officials in neighboring states. His office said there was no immediate update Friday.

New York’s mask mandate dates to April 2020, when the Democratic governor first required all people in New York over the age of 2 to wear a mask when out in public or unable to distance themselves from others. At the time, health officials across the nation urged mask mandates as it became clear that people without symptoms could unknowingly spread COVID-19.

In New Jersey, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has also said his state’s mask mandate remains in place as his officials review the new federal guidance. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said unvaccinated people will still have to wear a mask indoors. And in line with the new federal guidance, the Democratic governor said businesses can choose to require mask-wearing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged people Thursday still to wear masks in crowded indoor settings such as buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters. But the new federal guidance says fully vaccinated people can forgo masks in most indoor settings and no longer need to physically distance themselves from others.

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