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NYS Coronavirus Update: State to Adopt CDC Mask Guidance Starting Wednesday

May 17, 2021

- Last week, the CDC announced new guidance on mask use and social distancing for fully vaccinated individuals, and beginning Wednesday, May 19, New York State will adopt the new guidance. Until more New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, pre-K to 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care settings will continue to follow State's existing COVID-19 health guidelines. New Yorkers have worked hard over the past year to keep others safe and that has paid off and we are ecstatic to take this next step in the reopening of our beautiful state. The people of New York and visitors alike should take solace in the lifting of mask requirements, but be respectful of those who may still feel safest wearing their mask in public. Business owners can establish policy within the broad framework as they see best. It's a great milestone and yet another incentive to get vaccinated if you haven't already.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Starting this week, the Coronavirus newsletter will publish only on Mondays and Thursdays. You can still receive the daily updates on the COVID and vaccine numbers on Twitter and We are grateful to all of our daily readers, and we'll see you again on Thursday.

Photo of the Day: Radio City Music Hall in New York City will reopen again on June 19 for the Tribeca Film Festival (Photo by Kevin Coughlin)

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. COVID hospitalizations dropped to 1,581, the lowest since November 9. Of the 101,173 tests reported yesterday, 1,278, or 1.26 percent, were positive. The 7-day average percent positivity was 1.11 percent. There were 387 patients in ICU yesterday, down five from the previous day. Of them, 228 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 11 New Yorkers to the virus.

2. As of 11am this morning, 61.8 percent of adult New Yorkers have completed at least one vaccine dose. Over the past 24 hours, 70,722 total doses have been administered. To date, New York administered 17,626,145 total doses with 52.2 percent of adult New Yorkers completing their vaccine series. See additional data on the State's Vaccine Tracker.

3. Three new pop-up vaccination sites will open in collaboration with the MTA. Following a successful pilot, the new pop-up sites will be located at the following stations: 125th Street in Manhattan, Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue-JFK Airport in Queens, and the LIRR's Hicksville train station. (See hours here.) If you get vaccinated at one of these stations, you will get a free 7-day MetroCard or commuter rail tickets. Four other pop-up sites (including Grand Central and Penn Station) will continue to operate.

4. Starting May 22, the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets will have fully vaccinated fan sections. This will increase capacity at their 2021 NBA home playoff games at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. Individuals seated in the vaccinated sections will have to show proof of full COVID-19 immunization status, which can be provided through paper form (CDC card), digital application or the State's Excelsior Pass.

5. The New York City Marathon will return for its 50th running this year on November 7. The NYC Marathon—the world's biggest—will return with 33,000 runners permitted. Registration for the marathon opens June 8.

6. Radio City Music Hall will open its doors for the first time in over a year to host the Tribeca Festival's Closing Night film on Saturday, June 19. For this event, Radio City Music Hall will operate at 100 percent capacity with a fully vaccinated audience. The Tribeca Film Festival will be the first in-person film festival to take place in North America since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Additional details about the landmark event and screening for closing night will be announced soon.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: A community came together amid beautiful weather to spend the weekend beautifying their city. Over 200 volunteers in Buffalo gathered in the University District to participate in a spring cleanup event. The volunteers from all over the city spent the sunny Saturday weeding, planting flowers, picking up trash and other cleanup-related tasks.

andrew-cuomo-news-conference.jpgIf you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to New York State's Coronavirus Updates here.
Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo