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All New York State mass vaccination sites will be open for walk-in vaccinations as of Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.

Local health department sites will have the option to allow walk-in vaccinations as of Thursday as well, the governor said.

Cuomo said the mass vaccination sites have the capacity to handle walk-ins, eliminating the requirement for appointments will aid New Yorkers who struggled with the online scheduling system.

Walk-in shots are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are reserved for first-dose vaccinations. Appointments for second doses will be made at the time of the first shot.

New Yorkers age 16 and over are eligible to receive any of the three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States.

The governor also announced that New York State is adopting new guidelines for fully vaccinated people announced today by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to new CDC guidance, posted today on its website, fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible

The CDC said “for now,” fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions in indoor public settings like wearing a well-fitted mask
  • Wear masks that fit snuggly when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid indoor large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.