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New York’s largest nurses union says the state is not ready to unmask.
The New York State Nurses Association, which represents 42,000 medical workers, issued a scathing press release Friday slamming last week’s CDC guidance that fully vaccinated individuals can forgo face coverings in most indoor settings.
Officials in Albany adopted the federal mask guidelines days later.
But the nurses said that the coronavirus crisis is “far from over” — and that authorities should err on the side of safety, even if there is some “unnecessary inconvenience.”
“Nurses have experienced the devastating effects of this terrible disease first hand,” NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN wrote. “Tragically, they have watched patient after patient die. And they, along with other essential workers, have suffered extremely high infection rates themselves.”
“Nurses have despaired watching many states lift safety mandates too quickly leading to additional surges,” Sheridan-Gonzalez added. “Lifting the indoor mask mandate too soon puts lives at risk, especially for those most vulnerable to COVID infection.”
The nurses touted mandatory face-coverings as an “effective, fair, and socially responsible solution to curb transmissions of airborne viruses” — and warned that voluntary mask-wearing causes “insufficient compliance and would potentially intensify stigmatization.”
The statement comes after a major national nurses union blasted the CDC ruling, and former surgeon general Dr. Jerome Adams said the government “fumbled” the new edict.
A recent Post report that found many New York City residents feel uncomfortable adhering to the new guidelines, and some businesses in the boroughs are still requiring vaccinated patrons to mask up.
“I do trust the CDC but until I’m 100 percent guaranteed that I’m not going to get sick by other people, I’m wearing my mask — even if it’s only a slight chance that I will get sick,” one hospitality worker said Wednesday.
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