Long Islanders divided on whether to unmask as mandates shift

Mask mandates across the state were lifted Wednesday for vaccinated people in many settings, but Long Islanders seem divided on whether to mask up or go about unmasked.

News 12 Staff

May 19, 2021, 7:17 PM

Updated 1,064 days ago

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Mask mandates across the state were lifted Wednesday for vaccinated people in many settings, but Long Islanders seem divided on whether to mask up or go about unmasked.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this week that the state would abide by the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which say that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most places.
In downtown Huntington, some people were wearing masks and others had them off. News 12 asked people if they felt comfortable going places without a mask - not everyone agreed.
Tia Powell, of Huntington, says she's not quite ready.
"No, not yet," says Powell. "I'm still taking some time with that one. For now, I'm just taking precautions. You never know."
Others say it's about time to take the masks off.
When asked if it was weird to take the mask off, Jared Kay, of Huntington, said it was.
"I've been vaccinated since Jan. 3 because I was a front-line worker, but it was weird," says Kay. "I'm the only one in there too, so I felt kind of awkward. I felt like I wanted to put it on to respect everyone else, but I'm following the rules. I trust the guidance. Dr. Fauci said it's OK, so I went with it."
Jennifer Bohr Cuevas, a clinical social worker, says it will be especially difficult for people who have anxiety about COVID-19 to lose the mask. She says if it makes you feel better then you should wear one.
"As much as it was an adjustment for us to wear the mask now we're all going to have to learn how to be comfortable without it, and that's just going to take time," says Cuevas.


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