Lt. Gov. Hochul on state’s thoughts on masking guidelines and schools

[anvplayer video=”5047251″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) findings that the delta variant of COVID-19 is as contagious as chickenpox, News10NBC asked Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul if the state will go further with its requirements.

The delta variant is part of the reason why the CDC changed its recommendations this week and now suggests people in areas with high rates of COVID-19 transmission because of the delta variant should wear masks indoors even if they’re vaccinated.

At the same time, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced state employees will need to be vaccinated or tested weekly and all patient-facing workers at state-run facilities have to get vaccinated.

He also asked businesses to consider only allowing vaccinated people in.

But what about guidance for schools?

"I know parents and administrators and superintendents all want the answers—today, just like last summer—it was hard for us to make predictions," Hochul said. "If you’d asked us two months ago we would have thought everything would be fine and then the delta variant showed up."

The lieutenant governor says the state is still reviewing CDC guidance and asking localities to consider masking.

Vaccine statistics the Finger Lakes Vaccine Hub released Friday show that from last week to this week, there was an increase of only 0.2% of people in the region who got vaccinated.

That’s the lowest week-to-week increase since the vaccination effort began.

Right now, about 42% of 12 to 15-year-olds have had at least one shot and 51% of 16 to 18-year-olds.

The age group with the highest percentage of vaccinated people is the 65 to 84 age group with more than 85% who have had at least one shot.