The New York City Health Department has advised residents and visitors to consider masking over Labor Day weekend due to concerns over an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
A spokesman for the department told the Daily Mail that masking would be a “good idea” for those who will be in crowded areas over the weekend. They also noted that “nothing about the guidance has changed” and stated that the city does not have any plans on reintroducing compulsory masking.
The latest data suggests the city’s infection rate is hovering around 18 infections per 100,000, though the actual number is probably much higher due to lack of testing. Hospitalizations of patients with COVID have also risen, health department data has found, though the numbers remain far below Omicron wave figures.
“As cases rise, precautions become increasingly important, especially for our most vulnerable New Yorkers who are older, disabled, or have underlying health conditions,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan in an updated advisory. “Staying up to date with Covid vaccines, along with other proven prevention tools — like masking, testing, and staying home when sick — continues to be our best defense against Covid and other respiratory viruses.”