6 county executives ask Cuomo to follow CDC rules on masks

“New York needs to follow the science-backed guidance of the CDC”

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Six of New York’s county executives called Sunday for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to update the state’s COVID-19 protocols in accord with new federal guidelines that ease rules for fully vaccinated people.

The bipartisan group of county executives cited Thursday’s announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating that vaccinated Americans could stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

Read More: CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

“New York needs to follow the science-backed guidance of the CDC,” the officials said in a joint statement. “As we continue to see active cases, hospitalizations and deaths steadily dropping day by day and more people receiving vaccinations, the Governor should implement the CDC’s common sense guidance.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo listens as Alan Steel, president and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, speaks during a press conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan on May 11, 2021 in New York City. Gov. Cuomo held the press conference to give an update on coronavirus (COVID-19) efforts and to announce the expansion of the Javits Center as well as various projects in what he called the “Reimagine, Rebuild, Renew” campaign to support the reopening and recovery of New York State due to the impact of the pandemic. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Several states changed their COVID-19 rules after the CDC announcement, but Cuomo, a Democrat, said Thursday that his administration was reviewing the new guidance. A spokesperson for the state health department said Sunday that the review was continuing.

Read More: Biden races toward new COVID-19 vaccine goal before variants undo U.S. progress

New York’s mask mandate dates to April 2020, when Cuomo first required everyone over the age of 2 to wear a mask when out in public or unable to distance themselves from others.

The statement urging Cuomo to change the state’s rules was signed by Rockland County Executive Ed Day, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Putnam County Executive Mary Ellen Odell and Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan. Bellone and Ryan are Democrats, while the others are Republicans.

The executives added that New Yorkers who have not had themselves vaccinated against COVID-19 should do so.

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