Columbia County health officials recommend indoor mask wearing again
Natasha Vaughn reports for Columbia-Greene Media that a substantial rise in COVID-19 cases in Columbia County has health officials recommending mask wearing indoors in public places. “The county is not instituting a mask mandate at this point,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chair Matt Murell said, emphasizing the health risks to the unmasked. “The way things stand, people need to make their own mask decisions. I would say, if you’re unsure, wear a mask. We are strongly recommending that masks be worn indoors in public places.” Columbia County Health Director Jack Mabb was more direct. “My feelings about masking is that people should wear the masks when they’re indoors and they’re going to be around people,” Mabb said. “Especially now that we know that breakthrough cases can happen for vaccinated people.” And it is important for people to wear a mask now because the new Delta variant of COVID-19 is much more contagious. “I’m hoping that this will level off and we will not continue to have this spike,” Mabb said. “Because if we do, going back into the fall when people go back indoors and kids go back to school, I think we’re in a lot of trouble if that’s the case.” Murell explained the lack of a mandate. “If you look at what happened in Greene County they were in the red last week and now they’re not in the red any more. If our incidents go down we could easily be down in the yellow, which is moderate. What I don’t want to do is yo-yo this — keep changing the rules because it’s just going to confuse and frustrate people even more,” he said. Only 63.3 percent of people in Columbia County are vaccinated, below the level to keep the virus at a minimum. The Department of Health holds open vaccine clinics every Tuesday. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.