New York City Officials Say People Should Wear Masks Inside Again – The Wall Street Journal.

New York City Officials Say People Should Wear Masks Inside Again

A sign urges people entering a New York building to wear Masks. City officials are recommending that residents again wear masks indoors. DAVID DEE DELGADO/REUTERS

By Jennifer Calfas 

New York City officials are recommending residents wear masks in indoor public spaces amid climbing Covid-19 cases to curb the spread of the virus.

New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan issued the advisory Monday, requesting New Yorkers over the age of two years old wear masks in indoor public spaces such as grocery stores and offices. 

“We don’t anticipate that this wave will last much longer, so hang in there, New York City,” Dr. Vasan said in a statement Monday. “If we all do our part, we can bring case numbers down in the coming weeks and get ready for a wonderful summer.”

The advisory is a recommendation, not a requirement. The health department’s website said the city could weigh mask requirements in indoor public areas should Covid-19 indicators for a community spread increase from “medium” to “high” alert levels. Dozens of counties elsewhere in New York state have recently reached “high” alert levels determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“Any additional mandates will be announced when they are necessary,” said Patrick Gallahue, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The department plans to spread information about the new advisory “through social media, schools and stakeholder networks,” he said.

Major U.S. cities have generally avoided reinstating mask requirements and other pandemic orders this spring. Last month, Philadelphia lifted an indoor mask mandate not long after becoming the first major city to reinstitute such a policy.  

The city is reporting a seven-day average of around 292 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people, 9.8 new hospital admissions with Covid-19 per 100,000 people, and 4.1% of inpatient hospital beds filled by Covid-19 patients, according to the most recent city-data.

Under CDC guidance, communities with a seven-day average of 200 or more new Covid-19 cases a day would have to surpass other indicators to be considered an area with a “high” level of spread. Those include the seven-day average of new Covid-19 admissions per 100,000 people exceeding 10, and the average percent of staffed inpatient hospital beds filled with Covid-19 patients reaching above 10%.

More than one million Americans were killed by Covid-19 in just over two years, the CDC reports. Bit the disease has hit some segments of the U.S population far more than others photo illustration; Todd Johnson

More than 87% of New Yorkers of all ages have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. More than 78% of New Yorkers were fully vaccinated, and 37.9% have received an additional dose.

This spring, new Omicron variants have fueled an uptick in new Covid-19 cases, even as official counts have become more difficult to track as many Americans use at-home testing. 

The seven-day moving average of new cases in the U.S. reached 86,447 Sunday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data, up from a seven-day average of 53,943 new cases a day at the start of the month. 

Write to Jennifer Calfas at

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