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CDC gives OK to relaxing COVID guidelines, but some New Yorkers are on the fence

New Yorkers on the fence about easing COVID guidelines
New Yorkers on the fence about easing COVID guidelines 02:02

NEW YORK -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's OK to ease COVID restrictions thanks to vaccines, immunity and science.

But some New Yorkers are on the fence about the decision, CBS2's John Dias reported Friday. 

The "6 feet of separation" signs will start coming down. 

"At some point, we have to cross a line to normalcy," said Crystal Clear, of Harlem

"We are just ready to go back to life again, and it's great," said Paula Tomuz, of the Upper West Side

"We've done it in reasonable time," said Rashaun Williams, of the Bronx

Thursday, the CDC said people no longer need to social distance or quarantine if they were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. 

What's driving the change is the longevity of the pandemic, which started more than two and a half years ago.

Doctor breaks down CDC's latest COVID guidelines 05:09

"Because we have these tools at our fingertips, we can now say that we can move to a different stage in terms of confronting COVID-19," said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. 

El-Sadr said students have suffered tremendously, especially with quarantining policies. So, the easing of restrictions could mean a great start to the upcoming school year. 

"Hopefully it will allow for a more conducive, smoother school year," El-Sadr said. 

But some New Yorkers are unhappy with the changes.

"There's still people getting sick," said Jonathan Small, of Harlem. 

One man fears it will be nearly impossible to get people to follow rules again if there's another winter COVID surge. 

"Once relaxed, they're very hard to put back into place," he said. 

Masks are still recommended for those at high risk or in areas with high community transmission.

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