People in ‘high-risk’ New York counties should wear masks indoors in public settings, Health Department says

NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) — The New York State Health Department is recommending that people regardless of high-risk counties wear masks in all indoor public settings, vaccination of their status.

According to the CDC, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, Sullivan, and Ulster counties are now considered high risk.

Most of New York City is listed at medium risk; the Bronx is considered low risk.

In addition to high-risk counties, health officials say everyone with compromised immune systems should stay masked while inside in public settings.

“These public health measures, as well as ensuring proper air ventilation when, will help reduce COVID19 transmission in communities and lower the risk of serious illness and hospitalization for individuals. We continue to work with local partners and make every tool at our disposal widely available to New Yorkers, as we move forward through the pandemic,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett in a statement.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman says the county will not change any polices.

“We encourage everybody to go about their life normally,” he said.

Blakeman says his decision is based on admissions and ICU admissions — unline the state of cases and deaths as well.

“If those numbers spiked to a level that was dangerous, then, of course, we would look for guidance from our health commissioner and we would follow appropriate protocols. But right now, we’re not anywhere near a crisis,” Blakeman added .

Some Nassau County residents say they have moved on, despite the risks.

“I’m on the railroad every day, we wear masks — we’re cautious. But at the same time, I think we’ve had enough at this point and need to move on,” said Blaine Capobianco.

Others don’t understand the reluctance.

“You know, if it worked before, let’s do what worked before,” said an unamed Nassau County resident.

While New York State has a mask recommendation, Blakeman says he would not rule out a mask order in Nassau County, but insists his own data does not come close to supporting that.

Some residents told us they’ve moved on, despite the risks.

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