The governors of New York and New Jersey on Wednesday both came out in support of indoor mask-wearing for vaccinated people in high COVID risk areas.
However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Phil Murphy each said that they have no plans yet to implement another mask mandate.
Cuomo said his administration was reviewing the CDC's new indoor face mask guidance for fully vaccinated people. He added that local governments should consider adopting new mask rules if they are in a high COVID transmission area.
Gov. Murphy echoed the CDC, saying he would "strongly recommend" that vaccinated people wear masks indoors when in high-risk settings, like crowded spaces, spaces with immunocompromised people and spaces where the vaccination status of others isn't known.
"Our metrics are trending in the wrong direction, and new data suggests the Delta variant is more transmissible even among vaccinated individuals, which is why we are making this strong recommendation," Murphy said via Twitter. "Fortunately, our numbers are a fraction of those in many other states, most of which have significantly lower vaccination rates. Should our numbers reach those levels, we reserve the right to take more drastic action, including a statewide mask mandate."
The delta variant is believed to be more transmissible than the original virus that caused COVID-19. Vaccination provides significant protection against infection by the delta variant and COVID-19 symptoms in vaccinated people tend to be far milder than symptoms in unvaccinated people.