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With "Substantial" COVID Spread, Greene County Won't Require Masks Under New CDC Guidance

Greene County has "substantial spread" per CDC
Greene County has "substantial spread" per CDC

Under new guidance released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indoor masking is not recommended for most of the Northeast and parts of the Upper Midwest. Exceptions north of New York City include Orange, Westchester, Saratoga and Greene Counties in New York — which CDC data show as having “substantial spread” of COVID-19 as vaccination efforts continue.

Shaun Groden is the Greene County Administrator.

"We are not going to require masks, we are not going to shut down operations," Groden said. "We encourage people to be vaccinated, we check our local pharmacies every day for inventories. We encourage people to go to the pharmacy and to get inoculated. But for those people who have been who have been vaxxed, if that's the terminology we're using now, we are not recommending that they continue to wear a mask."

Speaking with WAMC Thursday, Groden said he “rejects” the notion that Greene County is lagging surrounding counties when it comes to vaccinating residents.

"When we have reports that certain zip codes in the county are under vaccinated, we feel much of that is erroneous because they were vaccinated, but they're using a PO Box zip code that is different, perhaps, from their actual home zip code," Groden said. "And then lastly, you know, we're listed as slightly below 50% in countywide vaccinations, but that's total population. When you exclude children under 12 years of age who cannot be inoculated our numbers exceed 60%. So the concept that Greene is under the weather or under surrounding county numbers, we reject that."

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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