New York City Urges Masks For Indoors Activities, Stops Short Of Mandate

It’s beginning to look a lot like….well, like mask mandates may be on the horizon.

New York City‘s commissioner of health is once again advising residents to mask up. Covid isn’t the only reason this time, as the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is also circulating.

Dr. Ashwin Vasan, the commissioner of NYC Health, issued an advisory Friday urging residents to mask up in indoor public spaces and for “crowded outdoor activities.” The advisory stops short of a mandate, and the city will not enforce the rule, although businesses are free to demand the use.

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The advisory comes as NYC is currently recording 3,761 daily Covid infections, a 55% increase in a fortnight. The city also confirmed more than 11,000 flu cases in the final week of November.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are also urging people to wear masks, advising the action in a memo earlier this week. Their move comes in response to what’s been called the worst flu season in more than a decade.

In Los Angeles, the county has reported a big surge in daily cases that could soon lead to a renewed requirement for people to wear masks in all indoor public spaces.

The county has been logging steady increases in daily infections and hospitalizations since the beginning of November. As of Friday, the county’s average daily number of new infections over the past seven days was 3,053, up a little under 50% from the 2,121 average a week ago.

Tom Tapp contributed to this report.

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