In another nod to the benefits of being vaccinated for Covid-19, New York State has adopted guidance on mask use issued by the Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday, and to make it easier to get the vaccine, the state is opening all of its mass vaccination sites to walk-ins.
For those who are fully vaccinated — meaning they've passed the two week waiting period after a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — masks will no longer be required outdoors "except in certain crowded settings and venues." They will still be required indoors, and by people who are not yet fully vaccinated.
The guidance says that "when Americans who are fully vaccinated are outside, biking, hiking, running, or in small gatherings, you don't need to wear a mask," the governor said. "That is liberating, especially now that the weather is getting warmer. . . . This news underscores the fact that if you get vaccinated, more freedom is available to you. . . ."
On Wednesday, the state reported that just over 45 percent of New Yorkers had gotten at least one vaccine dose and nearly 33 percent had completed their vaccine series. The push now is to reach people who may have struggled to find appointments, seen the process as a barrier to following through, or are hesitant to be vaccinated.
As of Thursday, appointments will no longer be required for first doses at all of the state's mass vaccination sites, including the one at the Stony Brook Southampton college campus. The state has encouraged all vaccine providers to follow suit and allow walk-in appointments for anyone eligible. The Pfizer vaccine has received emergency use authorization for people 16 and older; the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are authorized for people 18 and older.