WKTV - It's the day that Americans have been waiting for, for over a year.
On Thursday, the CDC announced that if you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, you can begin to return to what life was like before the pandemic, life without wearing a mask.
“If you are fully vaccinated you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor or outdoor activities, large or small without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC.
Following the announcement of the CDC’s new guidelines in an interview, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente reminded the public that the state's mask mandate is still in place so fully vaccinated individuals must wear a mask in public places for now. He says this new guidance may be a way of encouraging more people to get more people vaccinated to help continue building herd immunity.
“You still have to wear a mask under orders, in grocery stores, retail places, etc,” said Picente. “We're still only at around 54 percent and that's first doses. We'll get over 50 (percent) in the next several days as we finish second shots. But the goal has always been to get to 70 percent.”
On Thursday, Governor Cuomo released this statement in regards to the new guidance saying,
“In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of the pandemic and in our successful reopening. 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.”
Central New Yorkers say they are optimistic about the new guidance but also apprehensive. George, a restaurant employee, says that it may be difficult to identify customers who are fully vaccinated if they don’t carry around their vaccination cards.
“I'm not really nervous about it. I think that the people who are fully vaccinated being the only ones who are allowed to really do it, I don't know how we're going to enforce it. That's probably what I'm more worried about. We’re not going to be able to discriminate who is fully vaccinated and who isn’t without the identification cards. So that’s definitely going to be a worry for me,” said George.