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Monroe County concerned over CDC guidance for masks

The CDC urges people living in areas with substantial or high transmission rates of COVID-19, to wear a mask indoors in certain circumstances.
Credit: WNEP

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — It's been a month since Gov. Tom Wolf dropped the mask mandate for Pennsylvanians.

Within that month, the Delta variant has caused COVID-19 cases to rise across the country and here in the Keystone State.

"I thought we were out of it but if we have to do this a little more to get back to a normal lifestyle, I say go for it," said Joe Riley, Stroudsburg.

The rise in cases has prompted the CDC to backpedal. Now urging people living in areas with substantial or high transmission rates of COVID-19, to once again wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

RELATED: COVID-19 update: 645 new positive cases statewide

The governor's office says the state will not be reinstating a statewide mask mandate, but recommends Pennsylvanians and schools follow CDC guidance.

Newswatch 16 found some people still wearing masks at a grocery store in Stroud Township.

"I agree but I also don't, but I am vaccinated so. I mean people should get vaccinated. It's a proven fact that it works," said Rick Meixell, Saylorsburg.

Health experts say the vaccines protect people from serious illness and hospitalization, but it doesn't mean you can't catch COVID.

RELATED: How to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Pennsylvania

"Inside yes, outside no. I just haven't taken it off yet," said Riley.

A vast majority of people Newswatch 16 spoke to are vaccinated. While many are just going with the flow, others have had enough of the masks.

Johnathan Strong from Stroudsburg is vaccinated and was upset to hear about the latest recommendation.

"I am not very happy with them. I don't think they know what they are talking about. It changes from day to day. I want to see more numbers. The masks have been scientifically proven not to help if someone coughs if your eyeball, you got it. A mask doesn't help, and it hurts the kids. I am done with it," said Johnathan Strong, Stroudsburg.

Monroe County tacked on an additional 14 new cases on Wednesday, down three from Tuesday's number.

More than 15,000 Monroe County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story indicated that Monroe County was in the category that would require masks. Updated numbers Wednesday afternoon show that is no longer the case.

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