Masks May Be Back in New York as New COVID Variants Spread
The COVID-19 variants spreading in New York are a "cause for concern," and there's been talk of bringing indoor mask-wearing back, even for those that are vaccinated.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says the Delta variant of COVID-19 now makes up over 80-percent of new COVID cases in the country, and it's spreading in New York state too.
"COVID-19 continues to spread in New York State and new variants are cause for concern, so it's absolutely vital that every New Yorker who hasn't gotten vaccinated yet does so immediately," Governor Cuomo said.
COVID cases have risen across the state over the past several days.
New York Numbers on July 25
Test Results Reported - 88,877
Total Positive - 1,982
Percent Positive - 2.23%
7-Day Average Percent Positive - 1.76%
Patient Hospitalization - 505 (+11)
Patients Newly Admitted - 94
Patients in ICU - 120 (+2)
Patients in ICU with Intubation - 38 (-4)
Total Discharges - 186,291 (+75)
Deaths - 7
Total Deaths - 43,055
More than 22 million New Yorkers have been vaccinated as of Sunday, July 25. "New Yorkers continue to fight COVID-19 by getting vaccinated across the state, but we need to get even more shots in arms to put this virus behind us for good," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge everyone who hasn't gotten their shot yet to do so immediately—the vaccine is widely available and taking it is easy, safe, and free."
Find a place to get the COVID-19 vaccine near you at Vaccine.gov. Or have the vaccine come to you. You can now make appointments for in-home COVID-19 vaccinations at On.nyc.gov/inhomevax, or by calling 877-829-4692.
Masks May Comeback
The rise in COVID cases may force a return to face masks in New York. Face-covering policies have been reinstated in several areas across the country including Los Angelos, Las Vegas and St. Louis where cases have started to rise. "In areas where there are low numbers of vaccinated people, where cases are rising, it's very reasonable for counties to take more mitigation measures, like the mask rules coming out of LA," U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told ABC. "And I anticipate that will happen in other parts of the country -- and that's not contradictory to the guidance the CDC issued."
New York Department of Health Committee Chair Mark Levine said everyone, even those who are vaccinated should start wearing masks, especially in crowded indoor venues. “Having an honor system where people wear it if they want to, it’s not working. You see the number of people wearing masks go down.”