NYC reimposes indoor mask advisory

Under a mask advisory issued Nov. 29, health officials in New York City urged all residents to wear a mask in public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status, ABC7 New York reports. 

The advisory comes amid rising global concern about the new omicron COVID-19 variant, which prompted the U.S. to restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries. The restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens. Early evidence suggests omicron may increase the risk of reinfection, while additional studies are underway to determine how the variant may affect illness severity and the effectiveness of existing treatments or vaccines. 

While cases of omicron have not yet been confirmed in the U.S., "inevitably it will be here," Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC News Nov. 28. 

Health officials in New York City issued the indoor mask advisory as they expect to detect cases of the new strain within a few days. 

"We do anticipate detecting omicron in New York City in the coming days based on what we know about its global spread," Dave Chokshi, MD, the city's health commissioner, said Nov. 29, according to ABC7 New York

Statewide, the daily average of new COVID-19 cases on Nov. 28 was 5,809, up 9 percent over the last 14 days. Meanwhile, the daily average of COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York was 2,794 on Nov. 28, marking a 23 percent rise over the last two weeks, according to data from The New York Times. 


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