New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is strongly encouraging people in New York who are vaccinated to wear masks indoors but will not mandate that they do so. New York requires masks on public transportation, in hospitals, and schools.
"We want to strongly recommend that people wear masks in indoor settings even if you’re vaccinated," the mayor said on Monday. "If you don’t know the people around, if you’re not sure if they’re vaccinated or not, or if you know some are unvaccinated, it’s absolutely crucial to wear a mask even if you are vaccinated."
The CDC last week said that people should wear masks indoors in areas of "substantial" or "high" COVID-19 transmission, based on case rates and positivity rates. All five boroughs of New York City meet these criteria, CNN reports.
Vaccines still provide protection against serious illnesses and hospitalization after contracting COVID-19. Mayor De Blasio has urged all New Yorkers to get vaccinated. Residents who get the shot will receive $100 at city-run vaccination sites. Unvaccinated city employees will have to get tested for COVID before they begin work and frequently while they are on the job.
The CDC changed its mask guidance because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant and following a significant number of breakthrough cases in Provincetown, Massachusetts, over Fourth of July weekend. Some people who had already been vaccinated visited Provincetown and became sick with flu-like symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19.
Many of the infected people had attended densely packed bars and parties, and the majority of infections occurred in people who had been vaccinated. Most of the events were occurred outdoors, but eating and drinking requires people to remove their masks, and holiday-makers also mingled in guest houses and hotels.
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