COVID News
Westchester News

State Clarifies New Mask Requirement. Not Everybody Is Happy.

• Bookmarks: 109 • Comments: 1


December 13, 2021

By Barrett Seaman—

As of Monday morning, December 13, masks are required in all public places in New York State—except in businesses and organizations that have already instituted a full vaccine requirement for anyone venturing onto their premises. However, it was far from clear on Monday precisely what that meant to different kinds of establishments or how it was going to be enforced and by whom.

For those enterprises that intend to declare themselves open only to the vaccinated, the rules are clear: anyone 12 years or older entering the premises must show proof that they are fully vaccinated. Children between the ages of five and 11 need show proof of at least one dose.

Proof means showing an official vaccination card or the pass available on the state’s Excelsior phone app.

For those unable to claim fully -vaccinated status, masks are required everywhere under a roof—including restaurants and bars “outside of physical eating or drinking.”

According to the State Department of Health, “an indoor public place is defined as any indoor space that is not a private residence — businesses and venues New Yorkers frequent that are publicly owned or owned by private business. These entities include indoor entertainment venues, concert halls, indoor sports stadiums, recreational spaces, restaurants, office buildings, shopping centers, grocery stores, pharmacies, houses of worship and common areas in residential buildings. Posters encouraging people to wear masks and get vaccinated are available for businesses to use here and here.

In its guidelines issued on Monday, the NYSDoH offered a link to a Frequently Asked Questions webpage that offers detailed responses.

The new requirement comes in the wake of a significant post-Thanksgiving spike and in anticipation of a continued holiday spike. Thus the rules will remain in effect until mid-January. Those who do not comply are subject to a fine, with a maximum civil penalty of $1,000. Enforcement is left to each county’s Department of Health.

“Community spread requires a community-minded solution, as the Omicron variant emerges and the overwhelmingly dominant Delta variant continues to circulate,” said acting New York State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett. “We have the tools we need to protect against the virus – and now we must ensure we use them. “There are tools each individual can use, and there are actions we can take as government. Getting vaccinated protects you, and wearing a mask is how we will better protect each other.”

Not every county government intends to obey—including nearby Rockland and Dutchess, whose county executives are Republicans. “I told the governor’s staff that we cannot and will not enforce this requirement as it currently stands,” said Rockland’s Ed Day, asking “How do you enforce something that’s based on a press release that does not contain adequate information and explanation? Additionally, I cannot and will not in good conscience redirect our health department to change their focus from the vaccination effort, especially with the 5 (through) 11-year-old cohort needing vaccinations and the 16 and 17-year-old cohort having just been approved to receive boosters. That would be utterly reckless.”

Latimer Tests Positive

Here in Westchester, County Executive George Latimer voiced support for the new rule but also disclosed that he had tested positive himself after learning that he had been exposed to the virus at a community event he had attended. Latimer immediately quarantined himself at home where he reports having only mild symptoms, according to a statement issued by his office “thanks to his COVID-19 vaccinations” last spring. Latimer had not yet received a booster shot, which he had planned to get this week.

Share the News!

Irvington Cross-Country Team Committed to Building on Recent Success

By Tom Pedulla--- Tradition matters. There is no stronger testament to that than the success Irvington is enjoying following its...
Read More

Dobbs Ferry Awarded State Funding for Pre-K Program

By Rick Pezzullo--- Dobbs Ferry is one of six area school districts that have been awarded funding from the New...
Read More

COVID Update: There’s Good News and There’s…More Good News

By Barrett Seaman— It was painful to watch, even if one wasn’t an actual victim of the Omicron surge that...
Read More

Harckham Secures $200K Grant for Pedestrian Safety in SH

By Rick Pezzullo--- State Senator Pete Harckham has secured $200,000 in state grant funding for the Village of Sleepy Hollow...
Read More

Reginald Lafayette, Former County Dem Chair and Co-Chair of Board of Elections, Dead at 69

By Barrett Seaman— Encomiums and eulogies poured in from Westchester politicians of both parties over the weekend after word spread...
Read More

Hendrickx Sworn In As Greenburgh Town Council Member

By Barrett Seaman-- A former Hastings Democratic Party chair and county aide, Ellen Hendrickx was sworn in as a member...
Read More

Irvington Girls Roll Over Dobbs Ferry on Hardwood, 50-31

By Tom Pedulla Two girls’ basketball teams in search of their better selves met when visiting Irvington rolled past Dobbs...
Read More

The Importance of Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy-Part one of a three-part series. By Chip Wagner-- Why is financial literacy important to you? Two-thirds of our...
Read More

Firefighters Praised for Efforts in Containing Tarrytown Fire

By Rick Pezzullo--- Tarrytown Fire Department Chief Kelly Murphy praised the efforts of firefighters in battling an apartment building blaze...
Read More

Historic Hudson Valley Wins Federal Grant to Produce Interactive Graphic Novel on Enslaved Man’s Trial

Historic Hudson Valley (HHV) has been awarded a $399,000 Digital Projects for the Public grant from the National Endowment for...
Read More
109 recommended
1 notes
5368 views
bookmark icon