Please attribute the following statement to HPAE President Debbie White, RN:
HPAE still recommends masking indoors and social distancing as necessary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. We want to ensure that we continue the downward trending of numbers of new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. We are encouraged by the availability of vaccines and the increasing numbers of vaccinated individuals. But, we must emphasize that our state, the nation and much of the rest of world is still in a public health emergency and that this pandemic is not over.
HPAE understands Gov. Phil Murphy may soon adopt new guidance by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on indoor masking for fully vaccinated people. We understand that he is carefully evaluating the data within our state.
With this change in masking policy, though, we urge the administration to set clear parameters within certain indoor facilities that will keep the most vulnerable safe from infection, especially in places where appropriate social distancing cannot be achieved and where it might be difficult to determine who has been fully vaccinated.
We want to encourage NJ residents to be mindful of how masking helps to protect those who are unable to be vaccinated.
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