Sununu: Vaccinations Will Beat COVID-19, Not Mask Mandates
New Hampshire will not be bringing back mask mandates anytime soon after the CDC updated its mask guidance but Maine will review the recommendations before making a final decision.
As the Delta variant brings the number of new cases up across the Seacoast and around the country, the CDC's guidance now states everyone, regardless of vaccination status. should wear a mask indoors in public if you are in "an area of substantial or high transmission."
The transmission is determined by how many cases per 100,000 persons have occurred in the past seven days and the percentage of positive cases.
According to a CDC map of key data, Rockingham and Strafford counties in New Hampshire and Essex County in Massachusetts are at a moderate risk. Maine's York County is a substantial risk.
During his Super 603 Day tour of Carroll County Gov. Chris Sununu said New Hampshire, which dropped its mask mandates in May, will not revert back and stressed the importance of vaccines.
"It is your choice. We have all the power in the world to protect ourselves and our community and that's getting the vaccine. It's safe, it's easy," Sununu said.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills said state health officials would review the new policy and would announce any change on Wednesday. She too pushed the importance of vaccines.
"We continue to strongly urge all Maine people to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated. It is the best and most effective way to protect your health and that of your family, friends, and communities," Mills said in a statement.
New Hampshire is averaging 60 new cases per day as of Saturday, double what it was just one month ago, according to the state COVID-19 website. But that is down significantly from over 1,000 reported cases in January.
The CDC also recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. The state has said it is not issuing specific coronavirus guidelines for the return to classes in September instead relying on its "universal best practices."
Sununu also signed into law House Bill 220 which would prohibit public schools and agencies from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine in order to receive services.