NYC: Wear Masks Indoors as City Approaches High COVID Alert Level

New York City “is approaching a ‘high’ level of COVID-19 alert,” the city’s Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan wrote in a tweet on Monday, adding that he is “urging all New Yorkers to wear a mask indoors.”

The Health Commissioner Advisory stated that the “high” level, which represents high community spread and increasing pressure on the health care system, is based on three coronavirus community level indicators issued by the CDC: “new cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, new admissions with COVID-19 per 100,000 people in the last seven days and percent of inpatient beds occupied by [coronavirus] patients.”

The advisory emphasized that those who are at high risk of severe illness [those over the age of 65 and those unvaccinated, including children under the age of five who are not yet eligible for the vaccine] should take additional precautions. These include always wearing “a mask in public indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings,” as well as avoiding “crowded settings and non-essential gatherings, particularly if indoors.”

The New York State Department of Health announced on Friday that those living in counties considered “high risk” for transmission of the coronavirus should once again wear masks indoors, according to FOX 5 New York.

“In accordance with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we recommend that all New Yorkers in high-risk COVID-19 counties and all New Yorkers at-risk of severe disease wear a mask in public indoor places, regardless of vaccination status,” state Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in a statement. “These public health measures, as well as ensuring proper air ventilation when gathering, will help reduce COVID-19 transmission in communities and lower the risk of serious illness and hospitalization for individuals.”

The CDC has declared 45 counties in New York as high-risk. Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island are all considered medium-risk counties, while Bronx County is the only one in the state considered low-risk.

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