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Public health official disagrees with nurses calling for mask mandate to be reinstated

While one of the largest nurses unions has called on the CDC to reinstate mask use despite vaccination status, Darlene Smith, a New York State public health official, says that would send mixed messages to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Smith explains that the science does not point to vaccinated individuals needing to wear masks.

While statistics for new cases have increased, the positivity rate remains around 1% for the state of New York.


Smith believes that taking masks away is unfair to those who are vaccinated, and that those who are on the fence about it might be deterred if they still need to wear masks after getting it.

New York has a vaccination rate of 70%, but the Southern Tier counties are all wavering around 50%.

Smith has stated that Steuben County is around 53% vaccinated, but 50% of the population is not following the suggestion that masks should be worn by unvaccinated individuals.

Of the 14 positive cases in Steuben County, all of them are among unvaccinated people.



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