County Services           How Do I?     

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.

Changes to statewide mask requirement and local mask advisory

The statewide indoor business mask-or-vaccine requirement that was implemented December 10, 2021, will be lifted starting Thursday, February, 10, 2022. It will remain optional for businesses, local governments and counties to enforce.

The local mask advisory remains in effect. Tompkins County continues to be in a high transmission area as defined by the CDC. TCHD continues to urge mask wearing for all individuals while indoors and around others, as well as other precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19. TCHD is also advising local businesses to continue to ask that patrons wear a mask while indoors and around others. For more information please refer to this February 9 press release.

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 February 1, 2022 (end date was extended).

  • 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.

Entrance Signs

Additional information and resources

[Top of Page]

Documentation of isolation and quarantine orders for third parties, including work or school

Case investigations have ceased for most positive cases age 18-64 years old, and individuals do not get a phone call and isolation order from a case investigator. Instead, follow-up for a positive lab-certified PCR test is by email or SMS text message. The documents listed below are valid proof to present to your employer or school that you or your dependent have been ordered into isolation (you tested positive) or quarantine (you are a close contact of someone who tested positive).

  • To report positive self-tests to Tompkins County
    • Complete and submit this form to report your positive self-test result to the Tompkins County Health Department. 
    • Once the form is submitted, you will receive an automated email message with additional guidance and documentation that you have submitted a positive self-test result to the Tompkins County Health Department. Your end date for isolation is five days after you took the test or from the onset of your symptoms, whichever occurred first. You will not receive further follow-up from TCHD.
    • If you develop symptoms or symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare practitioner and seek additional care.
  • NYSDOH documentation following a positive lab-certified test or close contact

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. 

[Top of Page]

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. 

[Top of Page]