North Salem businesses respond to the latest mask guidance

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

On Monday, May 17, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York would lift its mask mandate state-wide, in accordance with new CDC guidelines. Private venues can still make their own rules regarding masks but will no longer be under state-issued orders that required them. The news was met with mixed reactions from North Salem business owners. Some said they planned to continue to require masks, while others were happy to follow the latest guidance.

The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library will continue to require masks. Carolyn Reznick, Director of the Library, said, “we have had no problems so far with patrons coming in and refusing to wear masks. Many are still asking to get their materials curbside.”

As of Monday afternoon, Derma Glow Spa and Boutique was discussing the new guidelines. “We’re going to be going over everything thoroughly and have our plan set for Wednesday,” said co-owner Joanna Sciarrino.

Daniel Pereira, owner of The Market at Union Hall, expressed relief upon hearing that the mask mandate would be lifted. “It’s scary, but it will be a readjustment again,” he said. “This makes me so happy and extremely relieved.

Frank’s Pizzeria in Croton Falls said that they were “glad to see things coming back to normal,” and added, “as always, we will continue following Westchester Department of Health (DOH) guidelines.”

Hayfields Market, too, will look to the Westchester DOH for further guidance. Owner Renea Dayton said, “both our kitchen and front of house staff will continue to wear masks for now. We still feel there needs to be more specific direction from both the State and the Westchester County Department of Health as it specifically relates to workers in the food and beverage industry. We ask that if you’re not vaccinated to please wear a mask for the health and safety of our staff and customers.” Dayton added that the Hayfields team is excited to see such great progress in combating the pandemic and is looking forward to the summer months ahead.

At the Railyard Arts Studio in Croton Falls, owner Jill Leary acknowledged that deciding how to proceed was not an easy decision. With students beginning classes this week, she had to act quickly. In an email sent to registered students, Leary said that vaccinated individuals may remove their masks inside the studio provided they are willing to show evidence of their vaccination. “Showing evidence of vaccination is entirely optional, and at the student’s discretion and is not in any way a condition to attend classes at the Studio. However, without such evidence the student’s mask must remain on,” she wrote.

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