Mask Or Not? Here’s How Many People are Vaccinated Where You Live
Should you still wear a mask in the Hudson Valley? Well, that depends on where you live in the region and how much of a risk you're willing to accept.
The CDC stopped recommending vaccinated people wear masks indoors last week. As of Wednesday, New York State will adopt this recommendation and no longer require face coverings at stores and restaurants throughout the Hudson Valley.
There's been much debate over whether this is a good idea or not, considering that it won't be possible to determine if those maskless people are really vaccinated or not. Deciding whether to still wear a mask or not is a personal decision, but one that benefits from knowing exactly how many people around you are vaccinated.
Here in the Hudson Valley, the number of unvaccinated people varies widely depending on exactly where you live. While you may feel comfortable shopping without a mask in one area, others may be a bit riskier because of the lower number of vaccinated individuals and higher rates of transmission.
The most vaccinated area in the Mid Hudson Valley is Ulster County. Currently, almost 67% of adults over 18 have had at least one dose. As of May 16, the county reported a positivity rate of just 0.5% on their COVID dashboard, which is incredibly low. The average for New York State is 1.3%
After Ulster, Dutchess County has the next highest number of vaccinated adults with 61.7%. However, the positivity rate is three times higher than it is in Ulster. Dutchess County stands at 1.4% which is still slightly higher than the state transmission rate.
Orange County has had a tougher time getting residents vaccinated. Currently, only 54% of the adult population has received their first shot. As a result, transmission rates are also higher at 1.8%.
Sulivan County has the lowest percentage of vaccinated adults. With only 52% having received their first shot, the county is still struggling to keep cases down. Currently, Sullivan County has a transmission rate of 2.6%, which is twice the state average.
Deciding whether to ditch the mask or not is a personal choice and may depend on where in the Hudson Valley you actually live. Health experts continue to encourage residents to get vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated are still strongly suggested to mask up when they are out and about to avoid getting sick.