Hochul weighing CDC’s new guidance on mask-wearing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 February 2022 at 8:03 pm

New guidance says no masks recommended for healthy people in counties with low and moderate community spread

Photo by Tom Rivers: Hoag Library in Albion had this sign posted at the library on Monday, saying library users need to wear masks when inside the building.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance on mask wearing today, saying healthy people don’t need to wear them at public indoor places in areas of low to moderate community spread of Covid-19.

Orleans County currently has moderate spread, according to the CDC. The CDC said unvaccinated people in Orleans County should still wear a mask in public, indoor settings.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said she and state officials are reviewing the announcement from the CDC. Hochul issued this statement this evening:

“We are evaluating the CDC’s new guidance, and we will update New Yorkers on potential changes as we work through the details and coordinate with all stakeholders in our school communities across our state.

“I want to thank the 75 percent of all New Yorkers who have stepped up to get fully vaccinated,” she said. “I know these past two years have been difficult, but because New Yorkers are doing the right thing to keep each other safe, our state this week had the highest share among large states of fully vaccinated individuals. New York also leads large states in fully vaccinated 12-17 year-olds, and second among large states in fully vaccinated 5-8 year-olds.”

The CDC’s guidance states people in communities with high or substantial Covid transmission should wear masks indoors. That represents 28 percent of the population based on the current data in counties. The metrics are based on three pieces of data in a community: new Covid hospitalizations, hospital capacity and new Covid cases.

The CDC recommends people in counties with moderate Covid community spread continue indoor masking if they are at increased risk for Covid. The CDC urges those people to talk with their medical provider about wearing a mask.

The CDC said there is no recommendation for wearing a mask indoors in counties with low community spread.