Coronavirus NY: 4 mass vaccination sites in New York, including Jones Beach, close today

Coronavirus Update for New York

ByDiana Rocco, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, July 19, 2021
COVID concerns rise in NYC, mayor says no to mask mandate
Diana Rocco has the latest on COVID in New York City and the mayor's update on mask guidance.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City's COVID positivity rate is still only about 1.7%, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is attributing that to New Yorkers getting their vaccines while reiterating there is currently no plan to enact another mask mandate.

The city is doubling down on the reopening effort despite concerns about the Delta variant.

"We do not intend a mask mandate," he said Monday, repeating the position he outlined on Friday. "We do intend to double down on vaccinations."

Health officials say 69% of all new cases are the Delta variant, but hospitalizations remain low.

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Vaccination rates, however, are down nearly 85% since mid-April, and the state continues to close its mass vaccination centers -- including the Javits Center and on Monday, the Jones Beach site.

COVID rates have been higher in Harlem and on Staten Island, where fewer people are getting vaccinated.

"If we had had the pushback for vaccines the way we're seeing on certain media, I don't think it would've been possible at all to not only eradicate smallpox, we probably would still have smallpox, and we probably would still have polio in this country," Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

There is a new warning from the US Surgeon General, saying local officials have the right to re-implement COVID restrictions as cases surge, like in LA County where wear mask mandates are now in place.

Masks are still required on subways, schools, and health care facilities, and the mayor says he does anticipate changes to classroom standards as the new school years get closer.

Marriages are starting up again in the city, and parents of New York City students are being encouraged to enroll their children for in-person learning.

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