WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— The CDC is dropping a couple of key recommendations concerning its COVID safety protocol. It turns out the changes announced Thursday were already adopted a couple of weeks ago in Wilkes-Barre.

The two latest guidelines to go are something many may say are about time, but not everyone is in agreement.

Carolyn McGinnis enjoyed an outdoor meal on Public Square on a comfortable August day, one day after a couple of CDC COVID safety guideline changes were announced. The news to her, like the weather, was a breath of fresh air.

“We stayed inside and we followed the guidelines when they were in place and at this point we are vaccinated, boosted, our kids are covered. We’ve done what we can. We can’t sit inside forever,” McGinnis told Eyewitness News.

The CDC recommends people no longer need to keep at least six feet apart from each other. It also dropped quarantine recommendations if you come in close contact with someone who’s infected with coronavirus.

“We’re in a different time right now. We have vaccinations, we have boosters, we have treatments,” said Henry Radulski, the Director of the Wilkes-Barre City Health Department.

Just about two weeks earlier, the city of Wilkes-Barre beat the CDC to the punch by loosening COVID restrictions inside its city-owned buildings.

“We just felt that, you know, there’s data available that shows that, you know, this was the right move,” Radulski told Eyewitness News.

Or was it?

“We’re getting more calls in the last several weeks from individuals who are ill and who have tested positive than ever before,” said Richard Blum, MD and Board Certified Internist.

That spreadability actually played into the CDC decision. It cited data showing 95 percent of Americans 16 or older have either been COVID infected, or vaccinated against the virus. But Dr. Richard Blum believes other factors are at play in the decision-making.

“Those guidelines are formulated based on science and medicine and politics and economics. They’re based on a lot of things less to to do with getting sick and getting better,” said Dr. Blum.

Wilkes-Barre’s health director says the city will stay ready to reverse course on its COVID policies if necessary.

“We have to adapt to what the CDC says and what we feel is best,” Radulski explained.

McGinnis is keeping an open mind.

“Odds are this is our life now, the ebb and flow of surges and waves and, again we just have to be cautious,” McGinnis told Eyewitness News.