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Nurses say relaxed mask guidance is a step backwards

"I think we need to continue"
ICU nurses
Posted at 9:50 AM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 13:01:21-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — California's Department of Public Health is getting pressure from the state's nurses' association to not follow the CDC's mask guidance calling it "a huge blow to their collective efforts at confronting COVID-19."

Members of the California Nurses Association say they want mask regulations to stay in place to avoid so many people getting sick from COVID or from its variants.

Sandy Reding, the president of the California Nurses Association says there are multiple factors that concern their workers including people not getting tested, even after getting vaccinated. More than 50 percent of California residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

"I think we need to continue with the precautionary principle since there are so many unknowns about the variants and the efficacy of the vaccine to whether we are going to need a booster or not. It's also on the honor system," said Reding.

In San Francisco, the numbers are even better as 60 percent of the population ages 16 and older are fully vaccinated.

Even with the CDC's recommendations, the state hasn't updated mask guidelines. Also, businesses may still require customers to keep face coverings on.

Private businesses still have the authority to make their own rules. Especially if they are unable to verify a customer's vaccination status.

And the TSA says travelers will still need to wear masks at airports and on airplanes until at least September.