CDC Director: ‘Now is not the time to relax’

Coronavirus

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – CDC officials are warning people to not let down their guard when it comes to staying safe during the pandemic.

Many states, including Massachusetts, have been loosening and lifting restrictions. However, not everyone is comfortable with the speed of reopening.

“We are going too fast for a pandemic that is currently still active,” Richard Serrano from Belchertown, told 22News.

Officials from the CDC said they are deeply concerned about the COVID-19 virus.

“Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, not when we are so close,” CDC Director, Rochelle P. Walensky said.

Massachusetts is now in Phase 3, Step 2 of the reopening plan. The plan has raised capacity limits to 50 percent in most of the commonwealth’s businesses. And no capacity limits for restaurants.

If the state’s health metrics continue to improve, Phase 4 is slated to begin by the end of March. However, the CDC is raising concerns about COVID-19 variants, and the decline of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country is showing signs of stalling.

The CDC is urging people to double their efforts in all COVID-19 safety measures. That includes social distancing, maintaining proper hygiene, and wearing a well-fitted mask.

“Do whatever you can to make sure your children are safe, and that you are safe too because mentally it’s really wreaking havoc on a lot of people,” Serrano said.

Despite CDC concerns, Texas and Mississippi are reopening completely and with no masks.

Governor Charlie Baker said he has no plans to lift the Massachusetts Mask Mandate any time soon. Baker said the mandate will likely stay in place until more residents have been vaccinated.

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