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> COVID-19 Indoor Masking

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Indoor Masking & Proof of Vaccination


THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING of our community is our top priority. Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is working closely with community partners to prevent and respond to the evolving novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


NYS Mask/ Vaccination Requirement

Masks are required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement, per the NYS Health Commissioner’s Determination on Indoor Masking, released 12/10/21. This determination supersedes previous NYS requirements and is in effect from December 13,2021 to January 15, 2022.

  • Indoor public place is defined as any indoor space that is not a private residence. 
  • Fully vaccinated is defined as 14 days past an individual's last vaccination dose in their initial vaccine series (e.g., 14 days past the second shot of a two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; 14 days past the one-shot Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
    • WHO-approved vaccines also accepted for these purposes.
Mask Requirement
  • A mask requirement must ensure everyone over age 2 years old and medically able to tolerate a face covering is wearing a mask at all times while indoors.
  • The requirement applies to all non-private residences, unless proof of vaccination is required as a condition of entry.
  • Included are indoor entertainment venues, concert halls, indoor sports stadiums, recreational spaces, restaurants, office buildings, shopping centers, grocery stores, pharmacies, houses of worship and common areas in residential buildings.
  • For food service establishments, unless proof of full vaccination is required for everyone who enters, all employees and patrons must have their mask on at all times regardless of vaccination status, except when eating or drinking.
  • For private events held indoors at a business or venue, e.g., a wedding taking place at a privately-owned restaurant or venue, the business entity/venue must require masking or proof of vaccination as a condition of entry.
  • Information about masks.
Proof of Vaccination Requirement
  • A proof of vaccination requirement must ensure that people have documentation of their vaccination status before entering indoors.
  • Age 12 years and older must show proof of being fully vaccinated.
  • Children ages 5–11 only must show proof of having had at least one dose.
  • Acceptable documentation includes Excelsior Pass or Excelsior Pass Plus, SMART Health Cards issued outside of New York State, full-course vaccination through NYC COVID Safe app, a CDC Vaccination Card, or other official immunization record. Required for anyone age 12 years and older.
  • Parents and guardians can retrieve and store an Excelsior Pass and/or Excelsior Pass Plus for children or minors under legal guardianship.
  • Vaccine/ vaccination FAQ.
Combining requirements is not allowed
  • A business or venue must choose either a vaccine requirement or a mask requirement that must be followed throughout the facility by everyone, every day. It may not allow vaccinated individuals to be unmasked, while requiring masks for unvaccinated individuals.
Effective now
  • The Determination is in effect from Dec. 13, 2021 to Jan. 15, 2022. Businesses, venues, and other workplaces are urged to familiarize themselves with this directive and implement a mask or vaccination requirement immediately
  • Businesses may ask questions directly to the Environmental Health Division (EH) using this form.
  • Complaints may be submitted to EH by the public using this form.
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Additional information and resources

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File a complaint related to indoor masking or proof of vaccination (Tompkins County only)  

If your browser does not display the form, please call 2-1-1 to provide the same information requested in the form. 


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For Businesses Only: ask a question related to indoor masking or proof of vaccination (Tompkins County only)  

If your browser does not display the form, please call 2-1-1 to provide the same information requested in the form. 


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