Thursday, July 29th, 2021

Huntington’s mask requirement changes today

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2021

On Thursday, May 13, the CDC announced vaccinated persons no longer need to wear masks in most indoor public spaces. This is based on evidence that vaccinated people are unlikely to spread the virus and are highly immune from infection.

“The science demonstrates that if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Thursday at a White House COVID-19 briefing. “It is the people who are not fully vaccinated in those settings, who might not be wearing a mask, who are not protected. And it is those people that we are encouraging to get vaccinated and to wear a mask and to physically distance. So if you are vaccinated in those settings, you certainly could wear a mask if you wanted to, but we are saying in those settings, based on the science, that it is safe.”

The CDC director also said that fully vaccinated people can “start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic” – including participating in indoor or outdoor events, large or small, without masks or physical distancing.

Huntington County is now more than 40 percent fully vaccinated, and we continue to see significant increases in our vaccination rate. A number of our residents have some level of protection through natural immunity after a previous exposure, and we also have been able to keep infection rates low through significant testing and appropriate quarantining.

At the direction and advice of Huntington County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Pflieger, the City of Huntington will be changing its locally enforced mask requirement to an advisory as of today. The original requirement was scheduled to end on May 31, but based on the current evidence and community participation, the change to an advisory at this time is appropriate. Huntington Mayor Richard Strick intends to sign a revised executive order to this effect later today.

The pandemic has been a difficult road but we see the clear path ahead of us. The City of Huntington will continue its support of the Huntington County Health Department’s work toward getting our population vaccinated and containing COVID-19. We ask for your continued vigilance and thoughtfulness toward your neighbor.

The CDC still says fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear masks in health care settings such as hospitals, doctors’ offices and long-term care facilities; on planes, trains and other types of public transportation; when required by federal, state or local law; and when requested by a private business or organization.