No plan for NYC to return to mask mandates, Mayor Bill de Blasio says

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Friday, July 16, 2021
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that there are no plans to return to mandatory mask wearing like what was recently seen in Los Angeles.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that there are no plans to return to mandatory mask wearing like what was recently re-enacted in Los Angeles County, as the highly contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus spreads.

"We do not have a plan to change course at this point, but we are going to watch the data constantly to see if any adjustments are needed," he said.

De Blasio pointed to the hospitalization rate of .31 per 100,000 people.

"(It's) a very low rate, and it's stayed low in the recent weeks," he said.

RELATED | Los Angeles County orders face coverings indoors again as COVID cases spike

The mayor reiterated that teachers and students will be expected to wear masks when school returns in the fall, while other details, like how lunch will work, are still being determined.

"We will expect at this point that everyone is wearing a mask, and then there's a variety of options of how to handle lunches, which we will determine as we get closer," he said. "I understand when people say we want to know more, but the bottom line is everyone is coming back to school."

Getting all kids back in the classroom has been the goal all along, he said.

"I can tell you right now what it is going to look like," he said. "We are going to keep the cleaning protocols in place, with a few adjustments, because we obviously learned a lot more about COVID. All that work on ventilation, we will keep that. The work that was done, which was amazing, in terms of masks, we are going to keep that. And it worked. It worked when we didn't have anyone vaccinated."

RELATED | Aaron Judge among 6 Yankees to test positive for COVID-19

Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi was asked on CNN about his level of concern with breakthrough infections, like those seen in some Yankee players.

Dr. Chokshi called them "quite rare" and emphasized full vaccination gives "stronger protection against the disease."

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