New York Capital Brief:

NYS “Reviewing” New CDC Mask Guidance

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance that says individuals who are fully vaccinated can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

However, Governor Cuomo said New York’s mask mandate will remain in effect until State health officials have completed a review of the data and information.

“In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of this pandemic and in our successful reopening. We have received the newly revised guidance from the CDC regarding mask wearing and social distancing for those with vaccinations and are reviewing them in consultation with Dr. Zucker and our partners and health experts in surrounding states,” Governor Cuomo said.


Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York will implement the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15.

“Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents 12 to 15 years of age. That decision followed a thorough review of data and FDA’s expansion of the emergency use authorization for this vaccine earlier this week. To further ensure the safety and effectiveness of New York State’s vaccination program, I directed Dr. Zucker and the New York State Clinical Advisory Task Force to conduct a concurrent review. I accepted their recommendation and am authorizing all providers enrolled in the NYS COVID-19 vaccination program to expand eligibility for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to people in the 12-15 age group, effective immediately,” Governor Cuomo said. “Children under the age of 18 now account for more than 20 percent of new cases in this country, and vaccine authorization for a younger population will allow the state to continue its tremendous progress towards winning the war against COVID. More than 17 million vaccine doses have been administered in New York State to date.”


New Pop-Up Vaccination Sites

On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo announced five new pop-up vaccination sites at Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority station stops in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls areas. The sites will serve walk-ins on a first come, first served basis utilizing the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. New York State is partnering with Erie County Medical Center, Kaleida Health, Urban Family Practice and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center to administer vaccines at the sites. NFTA will provide a free seven-day pass to people who get vaccinated at the sites.


State Revenue Suggests Economic Recovery

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has reported that current tax collection figures show signs of economic recovery as the collection for local governments grew by 45.7% in April, a $464 million increase compared to this time last year. Last year’s poor tax revenue collection was reflective of the economic shut down, when businesses, schools, and other venues were closed due to the pandemic.

“The strong collections in April show that the economy is gaining steam, thanks in part to federal aid, more lifts in restrictions and a climb in the vaccination rates,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “However, local governments must monitor changing economic conditions and continue to be vigilant when it comes to their finances.”