LONG ISLAND - "We always talk about following the science and I am a firm believer in it," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
Curran is calling on New York State to adopt the latest CDC guidelines, which recommend that vaccinated New Yorkers take off their masks in most places, outdoors and indoors. On the Long Beach Boardwalk, a good mix of people were seen with and without their masks. For some, the guidelines come too soon, but for others they couldn’t have come soon enough.
"It’s been what 16 months, 17 months? At some point we have to get back to reality, otherwise where do we stop?" asked a Merrick resident named Michael.
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"Everybody has not been vaccinated and you don’t know who took it or didn’t take it, so for me it’s too soon, I’m going to wear my mask until the end of the year," said another boardwalk visitor.
Despite CDC recommendations, the state has the final say. So far, Governor Cuomo hasn’t made a decision yet. In New Jersey, Governor Murphy says his state’s mask mandate will remain in place for now.
"I think the timing was very good. Our vaccination rate is going very, very well. We all know vaccination is the key to getting back to normal," said Curran.
Some critics feel the new guidelines could lead to confusion and that perhaps people who are not vaccinated may act like they are and refuse to wear a mask. Curran says she respects any businesses and residents who prefer masks to stay on. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone hasn’t publicly commented on the issue yet.