New York, once the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, now allows vaccinated people to ditch their masks at most indoor locations, including restaurants.
Plattsburgh resident Nicholas Lord said he’s thrilled.
“If you forget your mask at home you have to run back home and get it, and certain places are so strict about it, and it’s nice to just not have to wear them anymore,” Lord said.
Plattsburgh resident Stephen Garrend said, “I think it’s pretty good without wearing a mask, because it’s a hard time breathing with that thing on.”
Wouter Rietsema, vice president of Population Health and Information Services at CVPH, said he has no concerns with the updated guidance on mask. According to the state’s website, 50% percent of New Yorkers have received one dose, and 43% are fully vaccinated.
“From a public health standpoint we are no longer worried about overwhelming the system or a massive surge, that those dangers appear to have passed for some foreseeable future,” Rietsema said.
Businesses in New York are still be able to enforce their own rules. Carol Mclean, owner of Irises, said they still want everyone to wear a mask. “We really just want to continue to be a safe place for all, we don’t want to restrict anybody coming in, and we want everyone to feel comfortable and safe,” Mclean.
Tracy Vicory-Rosenquest, owner of Chapter One: Coffee & Tea agrees. “We are just a space where everyone can feel safe and comfortable and know that we are not going to put anyone at risk for being sick or getting sick,” she said.