May 19, 2021 NYS Adopts New CDC Mask and Social Distancing Guidance
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
We are writing to provide you with information related to New York State’s adoption of the CDC’s recently-released guidance pertaining to mask use and social distancing for fully-vaccinated individuals. Consistent with the CDC’s guidance, these new rules apply to most businesses and public settings, except for Pre-K to Grade 12 schools, homeless shelters, public transportation, correctional facilities, nursing homes and healthcare settings.
Effective May 19, 2021:
• Businesses are authorized, but not required, to continue to require masks for all in their establishments, consistent with the CDC’s guidance. In most settings (except those noted above), fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required by law to wear a mask.
• Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks in all public settings.
• The Department of Health strongly recommends that masks be worn in indoor settings where the vaccination status of individuals is unknown. Mask requirements by businesses must adhere to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
• Capacity may increase to 100% of the maximum occupancy, subject to six-foot distancing requirements, per the below:
♦ If all individuals in the building/establishment (or a designated part of the building/establishment) present proof of full vaccination status, the six-foot distancing requirement may be eliminated.
◊ Proof of vaccination may be provided electronically or on paper.
♦ Where the vaccination status of individuals is unknown, and for individuals who do not present proof of full vaccination status, the six-foot distancing requirement continues to apply.
In addition, although not part of this guidance, the daily COVID-19 screenings in the office settings are still in effect for all staff and, where practical, for visitors, except for delivery personnel. There may also be other/additional relevant COVID-19 screening rules and requirements in particular non-office settings that are beyond the scope of this Memorandum.
We recognize that this guidance is still evolving and may result in myriad implementation questions and issues. If you have any questions regarding the guidance or how it will affect your workplace and clients/constituents/patrons, please contact Alyssa Zuckerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or one of our other attorneys at 631-694-2300.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
 Governor Cuomo’s announcement is available at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-new-york-state-adopt-new-cdc-guidance-mask-use-and-social-distancing.
 Including, for example, providing reasonable accommodations for individuals who cannot tolerate mask wearing due to a disability.
 Employers continue to have the authority to request that employees provide proof of vaccination status. We encourage you to contact us if you plan to do so, as there are a number of additional considerations with respect to this topic.
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© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2021