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Photo: Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images

New York will lift its mask mandate for vaccinated people on Wednesday, aligning with CDC guidance announced last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference.

Why it matters: The announcement marks a significant milestone for the state, which was one of the first to issue a broad mask mandate in April 2020 when it was facing one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world.

Yes, but: Masks will still be required on public transit and in nursing homes, homeless shelters, jails, schools, and health care facilities. Private businesses and venues can add additional requirements if they choose to.

Driving the news: Cuomo also announced the New York City Marathon will return in November, with a field of runners reduced from 55,000 to about 33,000, according to the New York Times.

By the numbers: New York is seeing the lowest number of hospitalizations and lowest number of patients in the intensive care unit since November.

  • The state on Monday also reported its lowest number for single-day deaths (11) since Oct. 11.
  • Cuomo on Saturday announced that more than half of New York adults have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Go deeper: CDC mask guidance sparks confusion, questions

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
May 17, 2021 - Health

CDC mask guidance sparks confusion, questions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CDC's surprise guidance last week freeing the fully vaccinated to go maskless sowed plenty of concerns across the country— even earning the "Saturday Night Live" treatment for all the questions it spurred.

Why it matters: With plenty of Americans still unvaccinated — and without any good way to confirm who has been vaccinated — some experts worry this could put many at increased risk.

May 16, 2021 - Health

CDC director says politics didn't play a role in abrupt mask policy shift

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky told "Fox News Sunday" that political pressure had nothing to do with the agency's sudden announcement that fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks in most indoor settings.

Why it matters: Emerging evidence shows vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the virus, as COVID-19 cases and deaths drop. But the responsibility to uphold the abrupt policy change falls to individuals and businesses.

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