More officials from the Mid-Hudson Valley are following Gov. Cuomo's request and tell all to put the mask back on.

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In accordance with CDC guidance, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health recommends universal masking for indoor public settings – all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are strongly urged to wear a face covering.

"With the Delta variant, which is highly infectious, as the dominant circulating strain throughout the nation, masks protect vaccinated and unvaccinated persons from acquiring and transmitting COVID-19. Universal masking is an important mitigation step to enable for businesses and events to continue operating and for schools to reopen without disruption," the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health stated.

Shortly after the CDC updated guidance on mask-wearing, Gov. Cuomo said local governments should follow the updated CDC's recommendation on masks.

Dutchess County has seen new COVID-19 case counts rise at a dramatic pace over the past several weeks, with active case counts increasing nearly 200% since the end of July, officials say. Dutchess County is currently classified as a “High Transmission” area by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

To prevent COVID-19 spread, Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) strongly urges all community members to follow CDC Disease Prevention Guidelines, including:

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• Get Vaccinated! While more than 55% of Dutchess County’s population is fully vaccinated, and more than 71% of adults in the County have received at least one dose, there remains a significant portion of the population who are unvaccinated, providing greater opportunity for transmission of the virus. COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, free and readily available. Anyone 12 years and older is eligible to be vaccinated. For information about where to get COVID-19 vaccine, visit http://www.DutchessNY.gov/covidvaccine.

• Wear a mask in indoor public spaces, even if fully vaccinated.

• Wash hands regularly with soap and water; or using hand sanitizer when necessary.

• Practice physical distancing – particularly in congregate settings

• Stay home when sick! Anyone experiencing cold or COVID-19 symptoms, including coughing, sneezing, loss of taste or smell; should stay home to rest, recover, and help prevent the spread of virus and disease.

Last Thursday, the Orange County Department of Health said all should wear a mask while indoors in Orange County.

"As our community is experiencing a rise in cases, in large due to the Delta Variant, the Orange County Department of Health is recommending the continuation of mitigation strategies which allow for the safe reopening and operation of schools, businesses, and events. Due to the increased number of cases and the presence of the Delta variant in the County, the Orange County Department of Health strongly urges and recommends ALL PERSONS wear a mask when indoors in public, in accordance with CDC guidance," Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelma stated.

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