CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The CDC released their no mask mandate on Thursday. The mandate will allow fully vaccinated Americans to return to everyday life without wearing a mask outdoors in crowds and in most indoor places.
Some local businesses are excited to experience the new reality, but that could only happen once New York releases their own no mask guidance.
“Things are getting a little bit back to normal — it would just be nice the masks are gone and we can really have that normalcy again,” says Matt Dohney, Owner of ABC Sports & Fitness in Latham.
Matt Dohney, Owner of ABC Sports and Fitness says this guidance is like a breath of fresh air, especially for gym-goers. “If we could take the masks off we’ll have the procedures in place to find out people are vaccinated or not and so it’s exciting to finally being able to take the masks off and see faces again,” says Dohney.
New Yorkers are now waiting to see if Governor Andrew Cuomo will follow suit. “We all have to be patient and wait for New York State to put in place new regulations on how we’re going to do it here, but the new reality is as soon as we can do it, this could allow any restaurants to return to profitability in the first time since this pandemic started,” says Jason Pierce, President of Albany Restaurant Association and Owner of The Copper Crow & Savoy Taproom.
The new reality may look similar to what life was like pre-COVID days, but there’s still a lot of planning restaurant owners like Jason Pierce has to figure out before allowing everyone to gather at the bar.
“There’s people that haven’t been vaccinated yet, restaurant owners will have to navigate these waters and set up zones where fully vaccinated people don’t have to socially distance but do so without making those who are not vaccinated feel like they’re not welcomed at the restaurant,” says Pierce.
For the school districts, it’s unclear what the classrooms may look like come by Fall. Guilderland Superintendent Dr. Marie Wiles hopes the high schoolers and all the 12 to 15-years-old students will get the shot before fall.
“Most of our students are not vaccinated because really it’s just 12 and up and the 12 to 15 was just approved, we have a lot of children who are not vaccinated, many of our staff are but until we get clear guidance we’re just going to stay the course, it’s been working with success,” says Dr. Wiles.