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Tompkins County Health Department. (photo courtesy of Tompkins Health Department)

The Tompkins County Health Department is alerting the community to the continued easing of pandemic-related restrictions in New York State. Tompkins County is adopting New York State guidance. Tompkins County continues to be a leader in New York State for both high vaccination rates and low infection rates. TCHD continues to urge the community to closely follow public health guidance related to the easing of restrictions and for all individuals aged 12+ to get vaccinated.

Effective May 19, New York State and Tompkins County will adopt CDC guidance stating that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in most settings. Consistent with the CDC guidance, Pre-K to 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and healthcare settings will continue to follow State's existing COVID-19 health guidelines including distancing and mask wearing until more New Yorkers are fully vaccinated.

Private businesses may still require masks for everyone in their establishments, consistent with the CDC guidance. Unvaccinated people should still wear masks in all settings while around others.

As previously announced, on May 19 most business capacity restrictions will be based solely on 6 feet social distancing requirements. For more information, visit the Health Department’s Environmental Health Services page. The Health Department must be notified about any event over the social gathering limit. Notifications can be made online here.   

Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “Vaccines are proving to be incredibly effective in protecting people from getting sick, as our vaccinations have increased, our cases have gone down. People in Tompkins County have been receiving vaccinations for six months, and with nearly 65,000 individuals receiving at least one dose, we have ample evidence that these are safe for everyone who is eligible.”

Kruppa added, “This shift in guidance is directly related to the number of people who have been vaccinated and the resulting slowdown of cases. It is important to continue to be cautious, even while masks are no longer required in many settings and to continue to encourage your friends and neighbors to get vaccinated.”

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