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Cuomo: No More Outdoor Masks If Vaccinated In New York, Walk-In Vaccinations Welcome

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a Feb. 22, 2021, press briefing.
Seth Wenig
/
Associated Press
N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a Feb. 22, 2021, press briefing.

New Yorkers who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to wear masks outdoors, and Governor Andrew Cuomo said state-run vaccination sites will no longer require advance appointments.

Cuomo said the state is entering a new phase in the pandemic, as more than 30% of New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated. He said New York will adopt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that say fully vaccinated Americans no longer have to wear masks outdoors, except in certain crowded settings or venues. They will still have to wear them in public indoor spaces.

The governor said all state-run vaccination sites will no longer require appointments and be open for walk-ins for all New Yorkers 16 years of age and older.

“We’re going to open up all state mass vaccination sites this Thursday, to just walk-in vaccinations,” Cuomo announced while at a state-run vaccination clinic in Johnson City. “You don’t have to call; you don’t have to make an appointment.”

New Yorkers will still need to make a follow up appointment if their vaccine requires a second dose. County health departments will also have the option of accepting walk-in patients.

Demand for the vaccines has slowed in recent weeks. Cuomo said he hopes easing some of the obstacles, like pre-registering online, will help the state reach the herd immunity necessary to end all of the other restrictions still in place.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.