ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Centers for Disease Control is recommending fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or practice social distancing in crowds both indoor and outside.
CDC leaders are encouraged by falling COVID-19 numbers and data showing those vaccinated have a low risk of transmitting the virus.
The news is encouraging to Monroe County health officials and those in the community are excited to finally start reaping the benefits from all the COVID-19 restrictions. Many are taking this as a sign that vaccination efforts are going well.
“It’s really exciting because everybody’s taken that progress to get vaccinated, I’m excited about that, said Angelia Luccitti, who is fully vaccinated.
The new guidance pushed people like Kayla Gurney who aren’t vaccinated to schedule an appointment.
“If there’s incentive to get it, it feels like it would go back to normal sooner and if we could go back to normal sooner why wouldn’t you get it,” Gurney said.
And many think less restrictions will be good for business.
“I think this is an important step because there are a lot of things that suffered from everything that’s going on right now and the sooner we can get back to doing everything, the sooner things can start to get better again,” said Jose Fernandez.
There are concerns however about how to confirm if those without masks are in fact fully vaccinated. Comedy at the Carlson, which just re-opened for shows, already has a plan in place.
“There’s is the card that proves that you been vaccinated and the excelsior program,” said Mark Ippolito, director of operations Comedy at the Carlson. “The negative part will probably be from the people who are not vaccinated or have hesitations to get vaccinated.”
Many restrictions including curfew and capacity limitations are ending and while leaders are still cautioning against COVID-19, this latest guidance on masks gives many hope that we are beating the virus.
“Not normal yet just because COVID is still happening. There are still cases, like in Indian it’s still spreading. So it’s a risk here, that it can spread here but it’s definitely a step forward and I think it’s a great thing,” said Andrew Palmer.
The next step is for the state to update guidance, Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza and County Executive Adam Bello have called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to adopt the CDC recommendations.
“We encourage the Governor and the state Department of Health to adjust New York’s mask mandate to reflect the latest guidance from the CDC. While the mandate was essential to slowing the spread of the virus and protecting our health and safety, we now have another, even more powerful tool. Vaccination works, and the CDC recognizes that. We believe New York State should as well.”