City ‘Strongly Recommends’ Masking Up Inside Public Settings, Even If You’re Vaccinated

Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi, MD, “strongly recommends” wearing masks in indoor public settings.

By Carol Tannenhauser

As the Covid rate spikes in the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio recommended people wear masks indoors, even if they’ve been vaccinated. But he stopped short of mandating masks.

In a press conference on Monday morning, the mayor focused on New York’s recovery, the importance of vaccinations — and his five-borough, “absolutely amazing, memorable, unforgettable” NYC Homecoming Week concerts and events. He never once mentioned the words “Delta variant.” He left that to his health commissioner, who clearly delivered the most salient message of the morning.

“Today, I’m making a strong recommendation that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in public indoor settings,” said Commissioner Dave Chokshi, MD. “This is based on our review of the latest scientific evidence showing that the Delta variant of the coronavirus can spread even more easily than was previously thought. Even though I have been fully vaccinated, I will be wearing a mask in public indoor settings in part because I’m the parent of a young child who is not yet eligible for vaccination. And I want to take care to protect her. Most vital, as the Mayor said, is for people who are not yet fully vaccinated to wear face coverings, anytime they’re outside of their own home; masks offer an important layer of protection for those who are immunocompromised or otherwise at higher risk.”

The city’s 7-day average of new daily cases is 1,233, with a 3.04% positivity rate.

Both the mayor and Dr. Chokshi were careful not to undermine people’s motivation for getting vaccinated. Dr. Chokski ended his statement saying that, while masks “are and have been a vital part of our defense against the virus…the vaccines are the closest thing that we have to a knockout punch.”

The mayor put a new spin on his Tale of Two Cities analogy, saying we’re headed toward “a world in which, more and more, there’s going to be a reality where, if you’re vaccinated, a world of opportunity opens up to you. If you’re not vaccinated, there’s going to be more and more things you can’t do….We want to make very clear the separation between all the good things, all the opportunity, all the positives that will be available to people who are vaccinated versus an increasingly more limited world for folks who are unvaccinated. So, that’s the strategic thrust.”

He gave as an example restaurateur Danny Meyer, who recently announced that all guests and employees inside his restaurants must be vaccinated.

The city’s masking recommendation followed updated information, released by the CDC on July 27, recommending that “fully vaccinated people…wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.”

The latest CDC data showed the “rate of community transmission” in New York, New York, last week to be “High.”

Some public officials are pushing the mayor to impose a mask mandate, warning that issuing a recommendation isn’t enough.


NEWS | 7 comments | permalink
    1. Leon says:

      It isn’t that hard to wear a mask, especially indoors. Mandate or no mandate, just wear a mask. All of the excuses for not wearing a mask indoors are lame.

      Masks should be required at school. And this should not stand in the way of a full return to school. Though numbers are growing, they are nowhere near a point where they outweigh the benefits of in-person schooling. Teachers have no excuse not to return – they should all be vaccinated. Limited DOE resources should not be wasted on students who don’t want to return.

      • D3 Teacher says:

        Fortunately, masks will continue to be required at schools for all students and staff; staff must be vaccinated or tested weekly. I can’t speak for everyone in the profession, but every teacher at my UWS school got vaccinated the INSTANT we could get appointments and we were grateful to be among the first in line. We are desperate for a normal school year and terrified we won’t have one if more adults in the community don’t step up and get their shots. We are absolutely not looking for “excuses.”

    2. UWS Craig says:

      This is common sense – when the masks went down, the cases went up. Masks prevent the spread of communicable disease. Biden made a big mistake allowing the masks to come down – how many lives have been lost?
      we are still counting them. Would you want a surgeon to operate on you without wearing a mask? Of course not.
      Prediction – – cases in the US will start to trend down now, just as they did in India and the UK. It is proven in countries around the world that masks work – but for some reason the United States has people who don’t believe in science. I blame Trump.

    3. MaryC says:

      I’m proud of my fellow upper west siders. In all the stores I go to virtually all customers have masks on. It’s usually for a short period of time after all and we are protecting ourselves and each other. I was surprised that many of the cashiers at Whole Foods were not wearing masks. They are exposed to so many people!

    4. vaxup says:

      Why should I wear a mask? To protect the atni- vaxers? I don’t think so. Get vaxed or get sick.

      • Josh says:

        No, it is not just protecting antivaxers, but also protecting those under 12 and yourself. Granted a typical mask is not as effective at blocking you getting the disease as an n95, but it will block about 50% of viral transmission from getting to you. Add that to the strength of the vaccine, which is not perfect, especially against Delta, and you have much better protection. It is not just to protect others.

        • LL says:

          And people who are immuno compromised and should not get immunized.

          I have barely seen anyone indoors without a mask