CDC recommends masks for all in areas of high transmission
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending everyone, including vaccinated individuals, wear masks indoors in areas where the coronavirus is quickly spreading.
The decision is being made as there is growing concern about the delta variant of the virus.
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he is closely reviewing federal guidance from the CDC.
Suffolk County’s health commissioner says it’s a good idea to use extra precaution while indoors.
The CDC is recommending that everyone, including those fully vaccinated, wear masks indoors with substantial or high transmission rates.
Residents across Long Island are split on whether or not people should have to wear masks again.
"I think we should do the mask thing," says Eric Lane, of Selden. "I've been wearing a mask the whole time. Even when they said we could take it off, I still wore it and I'm fully vaccinated."
Others like Gianna D'Allesandro, of Selden, disagree.
"I believe there should be no masks," says D'Allesandro. "Masks did not work with me, I still got it. So, I think the masks are not working."
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says the difference with the delta variant is that in breakthrough cases where vaccinated individuals are infected, and they have the ability to spread it to others.
"This is not about who needs to take responsibility," Walensky says. "That is not why we put this guidance out. We put this guidance out because the science demonstrates if you are vaccinated you can potentially give this disease to someone else and that was the motivation for this."
Some Long Island doctors say we should go back to wearing masks indoors but at the same time keep pushing people to get vaccinated.
"We want people to recognize that getting vaccinated and wearing a mask are two different things," says Dr. Sharon Nachman. "Getting vaccinated means if you do get COVID, you're not going to get hospitalized and you're not going to die. That's an absolute win for all of us. Wearing a mask means not only will you not get infected but perhaps you won't also pass it to anyone else."
They are also recommending that everyone in schools, including vaccinated staff and administrators, should wear masks.