CDC: Residents of areas where COVID spread is low can stop wearing masks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed their mask guidelines Friday, saying those healthy and living in areas where COVID is easing can stop wearing their masks if they choose.
The focus of the guidelines is to move from positive COVID tests to hospitalizations as the agency says those in counties with medium or low threat to hospitals are able to safely stop wearing masks.
Dr. David Battinelli, of Northwell Health, says he thinks it's the right decision, but people have to make sure it is properly interpreted.
"What they are saying is that for areas where there isn't high pressure on the hospitals and there is a very low prevalence of disease, the mandate is lifted," Battinelli says.
The guidelines include schools in medium- and low-impact areas.
Gov. Kathy Hochul released a statement in response to the changes, saying: "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."
Long Islanders had mixed reactions to the CDC changes with some saying it's time to get back to regular life and others saying everyone should wear a mask until the pandemic is over.
Those who live in high impact areas, have been feeling symptoms or have tested positive are still urged to wear masks.