Six New York county executives are calling on embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to update the state’s mask guidance given the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) update, which allows vaccinated people to forgo masks in both indoor and outdoor settings.
In a joint statement, the bipartisan group of officials said New York State must follow “science-backed guidance of the CDC.”
“As we continue to see active cases, hospitalizations and deaths steadily dropping day by day and more people receiving vaccinations, the Governor should implement the CDC’s common sense guidance,” the executives said following the CDC’s updated guidance provided last week.
Signers included Rockland County executive Ed Day, Dutchess County executive Marc Molinaro, Orange County executive Steven Neuhaus, Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone, Putnam County executive Mary Ellen Odell, and Ulster County executive Pat Ryan, per the Associated Press.
“Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance,” the guidance states in part.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities large or small without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said while warning that unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks.
“You remain at risk of mild or severe illness, of death, or of spreading the disease to others,” she warned. “You should still mask, and you should get vaccinated right away.”
Cuomo said last week the state will review its current guidance, which has been in place since April 2020. Per the rule, which has been in effect for more than a year, individuals over the age of two are required to wear masks in most public settings, particularly when social distancing is not a viable option.