Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday urged New Yorkers to again wear masks in all indoor public places as city health officials prepared for the imminent arrival of the Omicron variant.
“It’s time to remind people and double down and say, ‘Even if you started to move away from masks before, we’re telling you to get those masks back on now,’ ” de Blasio said at a remote press briefing from City Hall.
The city’s top medical adviser laid out the new guidance, which reinforces a similar advisory released in August to tackle the Delta variant.
“Today I’m issuing a commissioner’s advisory strongly recommending that all New Yorkers wear a mask at all times when indoors and in a public setting like at your grocery or in building lobbies, offices, and retail stores,” said Health Commissioner David Chokshi.
“This includes those that are vaccinated and those who’ve have had COVID-19,” he said.
“There are currently no confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in New York or in the United States,” Chokshi said.
But “we do anticipate detecting Omicron in New York in the coming days based upon what we know about its global spread,” he added.
Weekly coronavirus cases across the five boroughs, almost entirely from the Delta variant, have increased sharply since Oct. 31 when they were at 200 per 10,000 people. The cases are now over 300 per 10,000 people, according to city Health Department data.
On Monday, de Blasio also extended the vaccine mandate for city-funded child care workers to all staff at day cares in the Big Apple. Those 102,000 workers must get the COVID-19 shot by Dec. 20, the mayor announced.
The mayor said he’d been preparing for the child care worker mandate for weeks but that it became more pressing with the emergence of the Omicron variant.
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