KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) - 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.
"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."
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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.
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.