De Blasio ‘Strongly’ Urges Vaccinated New Yorkers to Wear Masks Indoors
Mayor Bill de Blasio urged vaccinated New Yorkers to resume wearing masks indoors on Monday as the city battles a new wave of coronavirus cases, but he stopped before releasing the sort of mask warrants adopted in other parts of the country.
“We want to strongly recommend that people wear masks indoors even if you are vaccinated,” said de Blasio.
States like Minnesota and Washington have taken a similar approach.
Mr de Blasio, a Democrat in his last year in office, had resisted calls from New Yorkers to resume wearing masks indoors and said he wanted to focus on vaccination instead.
But on Monday, the mayor said masks were needed after the latest CDC guidelines that people in areas where cases are on the rise should resume wearing masks indoors. New York City as a whole exceeds the agency-defined new case threshold.
New Yorkers were already required to wear masks on public transport and in hospitals and schools. Now they are being asked to wear them in other public places like grocery stores.
Across the country, some municipalities were quick to reimpose mask rules; others categorically opposed it.
Democratic mayors of Washington, DC, Atlanta and Kansas City, Missouri, have reinstated forms of mask mandates. The same goes for the Democratic governors of Nevada and Kansas.
Many Republican governors resisted the idea. Texas Governor Greg Abbott last week issued an executive order banning local governments and state agencies from requiring vaccination and bolstering an earlier executive order banning authorities from requiring face masks.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last week signed an executive order giving parents the power to decide whether their children wear masks in schools, after Broward County, the state’s second-largest school district, voted to require masks.
“In Florida, there will be no blockages,” DeSantis said at a restaurant in Cape Coral, Florida on Friday. “There will be no school closures. There will be no restriction and no warrant.
Federal recommendations call on students, teachers and parents to wear masks, regardless of their immunization status. Florida and Texas are both facing power surges, according to a New York Times database.
Mr de Blasio said it was important for people to wear masks indoors when they were unsure if others around them were vaccinated. If they know everyone is vaccinated, it is a “better situation”, he said.
Mr de Blasio said vaccines were still the most important measure to end the pandemic. Last week, he announced that city workers needed to be vaccinated or tested weekly and offered a $ 100 incentive to people who get vaccinated at city sites.
On Monday, he said the city had reached a milestone – 10 million doses administered – and announced a new policy: a vaccine mandate for new employees in the city.
“Every new person hired by New York City – before showing up for work, they must provide proof of vaccination,” he said.
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