WNY doctor weighs in on new CDC guidelines


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– The New York State Department of Health announced it will follow the new guidelines put out yesterday by the CDC. This removes at least one possible restriction for those who have been vaccinated.

Jacobs school of medicine Dr. Alan Lesse is applauding the CDC’s decision to lift the quarantine restrictions on anyone who is fully vaccinated.

If you were to get your second shot this Sunday, Valentine’s Day, you still wouldn’t qualify until two weeks after, but then you would be clear for all of March, April and May.

No quarantine required in those 90 days even if you are in close contact with someone who is infected. This would not change any current travel restrictions.

“It’s not 100% and nothing ever is, but I think it’s a reasonable loosening of the restrictions.”

Dr. Alan Lesse, Jacobs School of Medicine

The CDC is also suggesting that two masks can be twice as effective as one if you cover a thin surgical mask with a tight-fitting cloth.

The CDC is not making this mandatory but says that a thin surgical mask like this stops only about 42% of particles. But when you double up a tight fitting cloth on top of it, it stops about 92% of those particles.

Dr. Lesse even knots the straps of his mask together in the middle for a tighter fit.

“You can see it looks a lot different on the side and it’s much tighter,” Dr. Lesse said.

Dr. Lesse continued, “I think it’s reasonable, yes it’s some thing that I would do.”

Some of the folks we talk to are not opposed to wearing two masks if it does offer twice the protection.

“It is kind of hard to breathe you know but if they’re asking you that it was safe to wear two masks I would,” said Buffalo Resident Iquilla Taylor.

Nurse Sheila O’Donnell told us, “I think it’s great. I wear two masks. I wear one of those and then I wear an N95 over it.”

O’Donnell is a nurse in a doctor’s office.

“It doesn’t hinder my breathing or make any difference for me. Better safe than sorry,” she continued.

George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.

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