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Call to reinstate indoor mask mandate as NY COVID-19 cases rise

Infectious disease specialists say to slow the spread, masks should be required indoors until more people are vaccinated.

News 12 Staff

Jul 20, 2021, 12:22 AM

Updated 1,063 days ago


Hopefully, you didn't throw all your masks away because there are now calls to reinstate the indoor mask mandate.
This comes as COVID-19 cases across New York state continue to rise.
Just a month ago, New York was celebrating a .29% positivity rate, the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic. Now that number has quadrupled to 1.18%.
New York City Councilman Mark Levine, who chairs the city's Health Committee, recently tweeted, "The rule of thumb should be: in indoor settings where there's no screening for vax/test status, everyone should wear a mask… we need mask solidarity. Otherwise it doesn't work."
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Harish Moorjani doesn't think it works, either.
"I am in favor of a mask mandate, given the fact that we have a rapidly spreading delta variant and that vaccination status cannot be verified or enforced by most businesses, establishments," says Moorjani.
He says if the mask mandate doesn't return soon, cases of the delta variant will continue to rise.
But he says that might eventually be the least of our concerns.
"What will happen once the virus changes because of that replication in the unvaccinated, and whether the virus would become vaccine resistant or not remains to be seen," he says. 
At last check, just over half of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated.
Moorjani says if that number were 80 to 85%, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

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