New variants including the highly infectious Delta are causing a surge in infections across New York with new COVID-19 cases nearly doubling in this past week. In order to combat this worrying rise, public officials are looking at the possibility of requiring masks indoors again, even for the fully vaccinated.
With slowed vaccination rates and a return to outdoor businesses and venues, cases in New York have shot up once again. Daily coronavirus metrics released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo show a consistently growing number of new daily cases. That figure was shy of crossing 2,000 for the first time since mid-May and reflected a doubling of the daily tests counted one week earlier, according to the state’s reports. The highly transmissible delta variant is now the most dominant COVID-19 strain in New York City, comprising nearly 60% of the total case count in just two weeks.
“COVID-19 continues to spread in New York State and new variants are cause for concern, so it’s absolutely vital that every New Yorker who hasn’t gotten vaccinated yet does so immediately,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded New York City’s vaccine mandate to include all city workers. Starting this fall, employees who have not provided proof of COVID-19 vaccination must test weekly for the virus. Unvaccinated workers will have until Sept. 13 to complete their vaccine series or opt for a virus test each week. But before that deadline kicks in, the mayor said unvaccinated workers must wear a mask at work starting Aug. 2.