So much for a bummer-free summer in Saratoga Springs. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Saratoga County residents should now begin masking again indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
This comes on the heels of the CDC’s updated directives released on July 27, that noted that fully vaccinated individuals should wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of “substantial” or “high” transmission rates. Based on the rolling seven-day positivity rate data from the CDC, Saratoga County, which sits at a 4.6 percent positivity rate, is in the “substantial” zone for potential community transmission (there are four zones: “low,” “moderate,” “substantial” and “high”). That boils down to counties that have seen at least 50 new COVID cases per 100,000 people over the past week.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, however, has been mum about whether or not there will be a new mask mandate—and because of that, that puts the onus on individuals to mask up or not, based on the CDC guidelines. Cuomo did, though, recently mandate that all State workers be vaccinated or face weekly COVID testing. The governor also encouraged business owners to deny unvaccinated individuals entry into their businesses, though it’s unclear how a business owner would be able to check a person’s vaccination status.
As of yesterday, the CDC directed these other “substantial” or “high” risk counties, besides Saratoga County, to resume mask-wearing in indoor environments, regardless of vaccination status: Bronx, Greene, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Warren and Westchester.
This is a developing story.