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Some local businesses ditching masks per new guidance

Madison Ruffo
WRVO Public Media


New Yorkers are starting to see the light at the end of the long pandemic tunnel as vaccinated residents are no longer required to wear masks outdoors and now indoors starting Wednesday.

So, what does that mean if you and your vaccinated friends want to grab a drink at Coleman’s Irish Pub in Syracuse? Dennis Coleman, whose family owns the landmark restaurant and bar, said it’s pretty simple.

“You'll have to show proof of vaccinations,” said Coleman, who added that they’ll accept either the state’s Excelsior Pass or your vaccination card. 

While Coleman’s is requiring proof of vaccination at the door, other places are going on the honor system. Randy Sabourin, the owner of Metro Fitness Club in Syracuse, said that while the honor system can be risky, he trusts his patrons.

“If you wanted to print a fake card, you could and if you want to lie, you can,” he said. “We really believe that the clientele and the community we serve is above lying about the fact that they've not been vaccinated.”

Metro Fitness joins larger companies like Target, Walmart and Trader Joe’s in ditching the masks. However, most places seem to be waiting to hear from their customers before making any changes. 

There are still certain settings that still require masks, like schools, prisons, hospitals and nursing homes. 

This pandemic recovery milestone also coincides with the lifting of many of New York’s remaining restrictions such as curfews for outdoor dining and capacity limits.

Madison Ruffo received a Master’s Degree from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in audio and health/science reporting. Madison has extensively covered the environment, local politics, public health, and business. When she’s not reporting, you can find Madison reading, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.