Poloncarz calls on NYS to align mask policies with new CDC guidance


ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is calling on New York State to review the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and align their policies with the agency. The CDC announced Thursday that fully vaccinated people can largely stop wearing masks indoors.

Poloncarz says the new federal guidance is a sign that vaccination efforts in Western New York and beyond are working. The county executive stresses that proper protection from COVID-19 means more people still need to get vaccinated.

That new federal guidance says that anyone who’s fully vaccinated can be part of large or small indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a face mask. However, vaccinated people should still wear face coverings on public transportation, in hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters. The CDC notes that unvaccinated people should continue wearing masks indoors and in most situations.

Governor Cuomo released a statement Thursday afternoon saying he will follow the “facts and the science” and consult with health experts as the state reviews the CDC guidance.

Read Poloncarz’s statement below:

“Today’s new CDC guidance for persons fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is great news and is further proof our local and national efforts to vaccinate all are making a huge difference in the fight against COVID-19. In Erie County, fifty-one percent of all residents aged 17 and above have been fully vaccinated, and just under fifty-one percent of all residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. While these numbers are good, it is essential that we fully vaccinate more people in our community to properly protect all from a terrible virus that has taken more than 1,800 of our neighbors. Today’s news is further proof of the importance of getting vaccinated, and if you have not yet been vaccinated, I ask you to please consider doing so as soon as possible.

Additionally, because many of the rules and regulations regarding businesses in our state are set by the New York State Department of Health, I call on the New York State Department of Health to expeditiously review the new CDC guidance and align state policies with it.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz (D)

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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