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New CDC Guidance Leaves Some Ready To Toss Their Masks, Others More Hesitant

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - There are some major milestones in the coronavirus pandemic.

For the first time, kids as young as 12 are getting vaccinated. The CDC also announced if you're fully vaccinated, you can leave the mask at home most of the time.

As CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reports, New Yorkers have different comfort levels when it comes to ditching their masks. Some are still hesitant, and others are ready to toss it.

"There's too many unknowns with COVID. Until we see it's not going to spread or an uptick I'll feel safe to have my mask on," said West Side resident Brunilda Ortiz.

"I don't think it's necessary for you to wear it after your second shot," said West Side resident Chantae Reid.


The CDC says the new mask guidance comes after cases dropped by a third in the last two weeks, and evidence shows the vaccines are working against the variants.

"We have had seen emerging science and growing body of evidence that if you're vaccinated, you're safe and protected from getting COVID-19. And you really have a very low risk of transmitting to other people," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

President Joe Biden wasted no time following the CDC's latest recommendations. An Oval Office meeting which began with masks on Thursday ended without them, once the new guidelines were announced halfway through.

"If you have been vaccinated you can shake hands, maybe even give each other a hug," Biden said.

Though local rules still apply, independent businesses, workplaces and governments could still require them.

Masks remain mandatory for everyone in healthcare settings, and on planes, buses, trains and any public transportation. The message is still to cover your face if you have not been fully vaccinated.


The CDC will be issuing updated guidance for schools. This comes as 12-15 year olds are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

"I'm feeling pretty good. I expected it to hurt more," said 15-year-old Jaclyn Kotora.

Kids could be back in the classrooms this fall. The president of the American Federation of Teachers is calling for schools to offer in-person instruction five days a week.

"The United States will not be fully back until we are fully back in school. And my union is all in," said Randi Weingarten.

As for being all in on the new mask guidelines, Connecticut is, while New York and New Jersey's governors are both still reviewing recommendations with local health officials.

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