The Delta variant continues to ride fast in New York City and the authorities try to contain it at all costs a third wave of COVID-19, having as main strategy move vaccination to the maximum. But as an additional reinforcement, on Monday Mayor Bill de Blasio recommended that New Yorkers, even if they are injected, return to wearing masks indoors. Although he did not issue the type of mandatory mandates face protection already adopted in other parts of the country.
“We want to strongly recommend that people wear masks indoors, even if they are vaccinated “said the municipal president.
The effect of this “suggestion”, which is not mandatory, would impact restaurants, bars, supermarkets, gyms, entertainment venues and other commercial and sports spaces for social gatherings, because in the Big Apple it is mandatory. use coverage on nose and mouth in public transport, health centers and schools.
For his part, David Chokshi, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health (DOHMH) stressed that the ideal is that the ‘full’ vaccinated, return to the practice of a few months ago of using facial protection, which is fits comfortably on both sides of the face.
“And if you consider that you belong to a risk group, particularly in this context of the advancement of the Delta variant, it is reasonable to use a double mask or use a higher grade, such as KN-95 or a KF-94”, Stressed the city doctor.
New York City has seen a rapid increase in coronavirus cases: more than 1200 cases per day, about six times the amount in June. 70% of these cases confirmed are from people infected with the Delta variant.
The message for the unvaccinated
The City’s health authorities ensure that their recommendation is based on the latest scientific review showing that the Delta variant of COVID-19 that emerged in India can spread even more easily than previously thought.
The message “put on the mask”, in closed spaces where it is very difficult to know the immunization status of the rest of the people, was accentuated more for those who still have not received the inoculation.
“This is vital! people who are not yet fully vaccinated should always wear face covers, provided that are outside their own home. This offers an important layer of protection for those who are immunosuppressed or even at increased risk, ”said Chokshi.
Mayor De Blasio, who last week had asserted that there were no reasons to change the rules on the use of masks, after the new guide from the Centers for Infectious Disease Control (CDC) was released, commented that after the review of some data, the City chose to return to these recommendations. Although without the weight of the executive orders, which defined the public health crisis, when the virus emerged in New York.
“Before the new CDC guidance, unvaccinated people already had additional requirements in terms of wearing masks. Now we are saying that if you go to a site and do not know the people who are gathered, if you are not sure if they are vaccinated or not. Or if you know of someone who is not vaccinated. It is absolutely crucial, to wear a mask, even if he is immunized ”, the Mayor reiterated.
If you are not vaccinated you do not enter!
New York City authorities described this step as a “palliative” measure to the risks posed by the new variant of the coronavirus, but reiterated that their main battle front against the pandemic is on the side of continuing to take the most injections to New Yorkers who lag behind or simply oppose the doses.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his speech to the media this Monday, also stood on this front of the war against COVID-19: “A policy of masks will not be enough.”
Cuomo again urged New Yorkers to get vaccinated and called on the private sector to take a bigger role in the effort to limit your clients to the vaccinated population. Sports and performing arts venues have, in many cases, limited entry for vaccinated people or for those who can show proof that a recent COVID-19 test it was negative.
“I suggest to private businesses that they allow only admission of vaccinated clients”, Stated the governor
Having been stripped of his “pandemic powers” and after the emergency declaration due to the public health crisis expired at the end of June, the state president clarified that he already could not reissue a decree of mask use throughout the state, without the State Assembly passing a law to such a measure.
“For now, I just urge counties to follow the CDC’s recommendations. But yes, my opinion based on the facts is that it is due progress in vaccination, using all possible tools ”, he highlighted.
Elected leaders demand a decree
The decision of the Mayor of New York City to do not consider mandatory and raising only as a “recommendation” to use masks in all interior spaces, still inoculated against COVID-19, generated a chain of criticism.
Ombudsman Jumaane Williams demanded that it be issued a decree for the use of facial protection in all enclosed public spaces.
“The leaders of the city and the state seem not having learned anything in the last 17 months. The governor, who claims and exercises power when he wants. Deny and defer that power in the face of difficult decisions. He passed the load to the localities. And the mayor dangerously does not order the use of face protection in closed public places. Our leaders are moving slowly, while the Delta variant is moving fastWilliams reacted.
Also the chairman of the Council Committee, Mark Levine pointed out in favor of the “urgency” to go back to wearing mask masks. mandatory in environments of public attendance of the city.
“There is no evidence here that a mask mandate reduces vaccination. We have not had a mask mandate since May in New York. And the vaccination collapsed during that period, ”argued the Manhattan councilor.
Either get vaccinated or vaccinated!
In the trance of climbing the Delta variant and the ups and downs it causes, when it was supposed to the pandemic was already under control, the authorities continue to announce motivational measures to injection skeptics, but also announce mandatory policies that impact, for now, public workers.
Effective immediately, each new person hired by New York City before reporting for work, must provide proof of vaccination.
No half measures, each new hire must provide proof of vaccination, or you will not be able to start your new work period.
An action that the authorities intend to also extend to private corporations.
“As a pure vaccine mandate for new hires, we will have continuous updates. This is another step as we intensify the vaccination effort. There will be more and more things that cannot be done. If you are immunized then, you can participate fully in life of the city ”, he said Bill de Blasio.
In this same sense, Governor Cuomo insisted that in his opinion the time must come that in the specific case of those who care for hundreds of people in hospital facilities, for example, they should be required to be immunized.
“I understand that it is controversial. But if the numbers of infections do not decrease Some measure should be created that goes in that direction: either you get vaccinated or you can’t continue serving the public, “he concluded.
“Is a delicate topic”
The Dominican Francis Quesada, 38, A cashier at a supermarket chain in downtown Manhattan said that “He heard that his bosses” they could force everyone who caters to the public to inject themselves. The idea was not well received by all.
“It seems to me that the idea about the vaccine is divided. Here most did. But I don’t want to do it and that must be respected, ”said the islander.
Likewise, the construction worker Puerto Rican Jesse Rosas indicated that in his case he agreed to the drugs, because the time is coming when “for all” They are going to demand proof of the injection.
“It seems to me that this must be a personal option. Not that I wanted to put it on, but I understood that there were not many options left. Over time, those who are not vaccinated will have a lot of trouble making their life normal, ”interprets Jesse.
Vaccines versus COVID-19 advance
- 10,003,019 vaccines against COVID-19 had been administered until this Monday in the Big Apple.
- 54.9% of the NYC population is “fully” vaccinated.
- 40.1% of New York City residents do not have any doses of the coronavirus drugs.
- 46% of the Bronx population and 48% of Brooklyn are already immunized, the lowest rates in the entire city.
- 3,050 people They roughly tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday in New York, the highest total in one day and the first time they crossed that threshold since early May.
- 40% increased hospitalizations in one week and the number of intubated ICU patients increased by approximately 25%.
- 2.4% was the average number of infections of the last seven days statewide, just a week ago it was just 1.66%.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.