You May Be Forced To Start Wearing Masks Again in New York State
As COVID cases skyrocket across New York State officials want residents to start wearing masks again.
An indoor mask mandate was reinstated in Los Angeles County this week and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy thinks more cities or states will follow as cases of the more contiguous delta variant spreads across the nation.
"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," 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."
Murthy believes COVID is spreading again due to misinformation on social media about mask-wearing and vaccines.
"I am deeply concerned. We've made so much progress over this past year, but what I worry about are those that we still have millions of people in our country who are not vaccinated," Murthy said. "I've been deeply concerned about the flow of misinformation across technology platforms and throughout society over the last many months."
Here in New York, the coronavirus positivity rate continues to be on the rise. On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed 1.51 percent of COVID tests in the past 24 hours came back positive, the highest one-day positive rate in months.
The positive infection last week was just over 1 percent while it was about 0.63 percent two weeks ago. Some New York officials think a way to slow the spread is bringing back mask mandates.
The rise in incases is prompting some New York lawmakers to call for a return to indoor mask mandates. New York City Councilman Mark Levine points out New York is now in the top ten among states for the rate of covid case growth.
"It's time to renew the indoor mask mandate, including for those who are vax'd," Levine tweeted. "We can't ignore what's happening here."
Levine notes that COVID cases are up 167 percent in New York over the past two weeks. Levine is one of several lawmakers asking state officials to once again require masks indoors even if fully vaccinated.
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"NY's leadership did not act quickly enough in the beginning of this pandemic and we suffered losses," Assemblymember (AD-34) Jessica González-Rojas tweeted. "I'm with @MarkLevineNYC. We need to bring back the mask mandate including for the vaccinated AND double our efforts on vaccination. Pandemics need various tactics."
"Indoor masks (especially with no ventilation) should be mandated again," New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams tweeted. "We waited before, & people died #CovidIsNotOver."
In late June, the World Health Organization urged fully vaccinated people to start wearing masks again and practice social distancing because a more contagious strain of COVID is rapidly spreading.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to comment on calls to reissue mask mandates.