New York City's health department is advising residents to mask up during the Labor Day weekend amid a summer spike in COVID-19 cases.
The latest data, through Monday, from the New York City Health Department showed a seven-day average of 825 cases of COVID-19, which is a 259% increase from the seven-day average of 230 cases reported July 4. But it's still far below the 2,156 cases reported at the same time last year.
Asked if everyone should wear a face mask for the holiday weekend, a spokesman for the city's health department told the Daily Mail: "As cases rise, precautions like face masks may be a good idea."
Two hospitals in upstate New York, Upstate Medical University and Upstate Community Hospital in Syracuse, are requiring masks to be worn by all visitors, employees, and patients in clinical and ambulatory spaces, and all patients will be required to take a COVID-19 test, according to Syracuse.com.
The hospital system said a new variant, EG.5, is the reason for the mandate.
Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul is advising residents to take precautions because of another variant, BA.2.86, which has yet to be detected in the state.
"While New Yorkers might want to be done with COVID-19, COVID-19 isn't done with us," Hochul said Tuesday in a news release. "With the increase in hospitalizations and reported cases this summer, I strongly urge everyone to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their communities.
"To keep New Yorkers safe, my administration will continue to monitor this situation, share information on the new boosters as soon as it's available, and continue to make N-95 masks available statewide."
New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said that measures against COVID-19 were becoming "increasingly important."
"Staying up to date with COVID vaccines, along with other proven prevention tools — like masking, testing and staying home when sick — continue to be our best defense against COVID and other respiratory viruses," he said this week, according to the Daily Mail.
Michael Katz ✉
Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.
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