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New Yorkers Wary of Ending Covid Mandates

EMILY SHUTZ, HOST: Starting on Monday, New Yorkers will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination at restaurants and other entertainment venues. Uptown Radio’s Sarah Yokubaitis found that some New Yorkers are wary about the coming changes.

SARAH YOKUBAITIS, BYLINE: Wu and Nussbaum is a quintessential New York restaurant in Morningside Heights that sells bagels alongside noodles and dumplings. Mignon Moore is getting coffee here and says that she and her family do not plan to change their covid habits yet.

MIGNON MOORE: I am fully vaccinated and boostered. It does make me uncomfortable, because I have less certainty about whether the people that will be dining next to me are vaccinated. And so that is a concern.

YOKUBAITIS: The manager here agrees. Nancy Ariza says that people like her who work in restaurants and kitchens are worried about their safety. According to research by the University of California San Francisco, they face the greatest covid-19 risk in the workplace after healthcare workers.

NANCY ARIZA: For our safety, we still are using them and we are still checking for them, even though a lot of people tell us that it's not mandated anymore. But since this is a private establishment, we are still requiring it.

Photo: Wu+Nussbaum in Morningside Heights

YOKUBAITIS: A few blocks away, Calman Lobel is enjoying his coffee with friends outside the Hungarian Pastry Shop, where the group has met for over twenty years. He says that leaders need to be more clear when it comes to public health policy.

CALMAN LOBEL: I don't really know. I think that it would be, I wish that there were a more consistent policy, but I realize it's difficult to make consistent policy in a situation that's very dynamic.

YOKUBAITIS: A lot of people I talked to were worried about what is going to happen in two or three weeks after the restrictions are lifted. Howard Holdstein is visiting from Chicago and he says just you wait.

HOLDSTEIN: I liken it’s pouring out, you have an umbrella and it stopped raining and you're dry, so you can stop using the umbrella. You're going to start getting wet again!

YOKUBAITIS: Of course, private companies can still require patrons to mask up or show their vaccination cards, so don’t delete the Excelsior Pass or NYC Covid Safe apps from your phone just yet.

Sarah Yokubaitis, Uptown Radio News.

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