Why not make mask recommendations to entire state?

Masks(Associated Press)
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - In the wake of these changes coming at the national level, changes in recommendations are now in place in Maine as well.

Wednesday, the Mills administration announced all people, regardless of vaccination status, should wear face coverings in indoor, public settings in areas with “substantial” or “high” levels of community transmission.

In Maine, that currently applies to Waldo County, based on the U.S. CDC COVID Data Tracker.

Piscataquis and York were initially in that category Tuesday, but earlier Wednesday the numbers improved so they no longer meet that threshold.

Also, it’s recommended all teachers, staff, and students in K-12 schools wear face coverings, regardless of vaccination status or community transmission level.

State officials addressed their reasons for not making this a statewide change.

“And that is the vaccination. It is a different world than it was a year ago. We do have a way to combat COVID-19 that we didn’t have a year ago when we did have to go to those other tools to try to prevent the spread of a disease. We can now with that shot really go the distance,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Maine DHHS commissioner.

“There is a balance here because the balance is that giving people advice based on the risk in their area and not making them feel that the vaccine they got was for not, or, for example, continuing to incentivize folks to go get vaccinated, so that they need not wear a mask,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director.

As they have since the vaccines became widely available, state officials Wednesday again repeated the best protection against COVID-19 is to be vaccinated.

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