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Masks Optional at City R-Centers and Libraries

Staff Report

Photo by Liquid (Artiste) Arya on Unsplash

As COVID cases begin to take a slight dive, the mandate to wear masks indoor public settings is being lifted. The City R-Centers and City branch libraries have now made the use of masks optional, effective March 2. 

“Our COVID cases have now dropped dramatically, so we leave it up to families and individuals to assess their own comfort level when it comes to masking,” said Rochester Mayor Malik Evans.

The city will still encourage the use of masks, but it is not required. 

The change comes following the recent announcement that the Biden administration had significantly loosened mask-wearing guidelines nationally, to protect against COVID-19 transmission in local communities, meaning most Americans will no longer be advised to wear masks in public settings.

The change brings R-Centers and City branch libraries in line with City Hall and other City-operated public facilities, which made masking optional on Feb.10, following similar action at the state level. 

“Rochester should be proud of the steps we took to protect one another when this pandemic was at its height — wearing masks, social distancing and getting vaccinated,” Evans said.

The City will continue to seek guidance in protecting public health from the Monroe County Department of Public Health, the New York State Department of Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the Mayor is lifting the final mask requirement at R-Centers and libraries, he encourages visitors and employees at all City facilities to continue to wear masks if doing so helps them feel safer indoors or among crowds and to quarantine and get tested if they are feeling ill.If feeling ill, residents can find complete information on vaccines, testing and self-reporting positive at-home test kit results, by visiting