New CDC Indoor Mask Guidance Causing Some Anxiety, Confusion For New Yorkers

While fully vaccinated New Yorkers can take masks off indoors in most places starting Wednesday, they could still be required by individual business owners. On top of the confusion, the rules are also causing some anxiety; CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports.

Video Transcript

- Even while fully vaccinated, New Yorkers can take their masks off in most places. They could still be required by individual business owners.

- And on top of the confusion, the rules are also causing some anxiety. CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports now from Long Island.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: To mask or not to mask. That's now the question for private business owners and those vaccinated.

YVONNE BELSKY: I feel comfortable with a mask. I am fully vaccinated. My husband has got some ailing conditions.

I came right out and I took it off.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: You're ready.

- Need I say more?

- I think we need to wear it. We don't know the people around what they have.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Many told us they are not ready to unmask before herd immunity is reached. But the governor says the change will encourage more people to get the shot. The ball now is in the court of private businesses.

MARK SARRO: The staff will be required to wear masks for our own protection. We do deal with a lot of people every day. And I'm fed up with masks. But I want to be safety first.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Some like Starbucks and Target will drop mask requirements for vaccinated shoppers using an honor system that doesn't always go well. This man is wanted for threatening a Garden City Park store clerk who asked him to mask. The Nassau County exec urges respect.

LAURA CURRAN: Independent businesses can make their own decisions and their own rules. And I would ask let's not blame and shame. Let's understand that everyone's coming from a different place, whether they're wearing a mask, or not wearing a mask.

- It's your own decision. If you feel uncomfortable, wear a mask. If you're fully vaccinated, your call.

- I got my two shots already. But I mean, some of them still say, well, you got to wear it and here and there and different places. So--

CAROLYN GUSOFF: So it's confusing to you?

- It's very confusing.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Do you trust that people are doing the right thing?

- No.

- But I think everybody's sick of wearing masks. They can't wait to take it off.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Making masks a personal choice is causing anxiety.

SUSAN BARTELL: Some people are like, rip the mask off. I'm ready to go. But some people who are feeling that anxiety, and it's more people than you would think, I would say just take it slowly. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing if you're not ready.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Dr. Bartell says the ramping up period to wearing masks and social distancing was stressful and took adjustment. She says, don't expect the ramping down period to be much different. In Carle Place, Long Island, Carolyn Gusoff CBS 2 News.

- Now the Department of Health recommends that immunocompromised people continue to wear a mask and also maintain social distance. Masks will still be required on public transportation, nursing homes, homeless shelters, schools, and healthcare facilities until more New Yorkers are vaccinated.

- A lot going on. You think?

- It can be very confusing.

- Like a head blowing off emoji right now.

- On top of everything else that we've had to go through. Right?

- Tell me about it.