In-Depth: Does Monroe County meet the CDC’s indoor masking threshold?
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling surges in new cases.
News10NBC went in-depth to find out if Monroe County meets that threshold.
The CDC uses two measures to group counties into four levels of community spread: The number of new cases per 100,000 residents and the percentage of COVID-19 tests that are positive over the past week.
The threshold is 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week.
The CDC says if you live in a county with transmission levels that are "substantial" or "high" you should wear a mask inside, even if you’re fully vaccinated.
Monroe County is not there yet.
As of Friday, Monroe County reported 60 new cases in one day. Monroe County’s estimated population as of 2019 was 741,770 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The 7-day average positivity rate for Monroe County based on combined PCR and antigen test results was 2.3% and the 7-day average of new cases was 43 as of Thursday, which is the last update the county provided
However, there are several counties in New York state with "substantial" transmission rates that trigger recommendations for indoor mask-wearing, if New York State adopts the CDC’s guidance.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not made an announcement about whether or not New York will do that as of Friday evening.
Erie County is one of those counties with "substantial" transmission rates under the CDC’s guidelines.
As a result, our Buffalo area affiliate is reporting that starting on Saturday, any employee, vendor or visitor entering an Erie County building must wear a face mask, regardless of vaccination status.
Erie County is "strongly recommending" that private establishments do the same, but not mandating it.