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Relaxed Mask Guidance, Local Restaurant Coupons The Latest Incentives To Get Vaccinated In CNY

Onondaga County

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control Thursday allows fully vaccinated peopleto stop wearing masks indoors and outdoors, with few exceptions. Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said she is excited for this next step.

But with the virus still active in the community, Gupta recommends continued mask wearing in crowded public places for people who haven’t gotten a vaccine yet.

“If I go to Wegman’s, I’ll wear it because I do not know how many other people are not vaccinated," said Gupta. "So I will just do it as a caution and respect to others. It just makes sense.”

But as for indoor spaces where you know the people surrounding you are vaccinated, Gupta says it’s safe to take your mask off. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said the relaxed mask guidance from the CDC is another benefit to getting the vaccine.

But Onondaga County is making it even more attractive to get a shot. Starting this Friday, anyone who gets their vaccine at a county run clinic will receive a book of coupons to local restaurants. McMahon said some of the perks include free adult beverages, appetizers, and other treats.

“This is as good as it gets folks. So take advantage of this. And I want to thank the 20 local restaurants that partnered with us on this," said McMahon. "This is the restaurants partnering with us. This isn’t us paying them. They’re doing this. Please if you go there for any of those beverages, stay and get a meal after.”

The county’s vaccination rate sits around 53-percent, and it’s expected to rise with the recent authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for people ages 12 to 15. A schedule of county clinics is available on thecounty’s website.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.