On June 14, 2021, the New York Unified Court System (UCS) implemented a voluntary “Revised Mask Policy Program,” relaxing the face mask requirement for fully vaccinated judges and non-judicial personnel working in certain areas of the court’s facilities.
To enroll in the program, eligible judges and non-judicial personnel must access the program’s website via a work computer. There, they will be asked to enter the date of their last COVID-19 vaccine shot and upload an image of the front and back of their vaccination card or upload a screenshot of their “COVID-19 Vaccination” Excelsior Pass from their phone.
To be considered eligible for enrollment, judges and personnel must meet one of the following requirements:
- Two weeks must have passed since their second dose of a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna series; or
- Two weeks must have passed since they received a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, such as the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
After enrollment, each staff member will then be issued an orange picture ID card with the UCS seal, their name, and the program expiration date by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The program will expire on the last day of the month in which the efficacy of the vaccine is set to expire; currently, vaccines are expected to remain effective for one year.
The sole purpose of the ID is to identify the staff member as someone who is permitted to remove their face mask pursuant to the program’s rules and regulations. As such, the ID must be worn on the outermost garment for easy verification when a program participant is not wearing their face mask.
Program participants are not required to wear face masks in the following areas when non-UCS court users are not present:
- Robing rooms
- Private hallways and corridors
- Private restrooms
- Locker rooms
- Back offices, conference rooms, and other areas not accessible to court users
As mentioned, the program is voluntary. Judges and non-judicial personnel who choose not to participate in the program, as well as vaccinated and unvaccinated non-UCS court users, are required to continue wearing masks in UCS courthouses and other facilities.
To learn more about the Revised Mask Policy Program, please read the official memorandum here.
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