New York City officials are urging residents to consider wearing masks over the Labor Day weekend amid rising COVID cases and the emergence of two new variants. While the city’s health department assured the public that they do not plan to impose mask mandates at this time, they said it would be a “good idea” to mask up in indoor settings. Despite their assurances, is it possible that this might be an indicator that the city, as well as others, are gearing up to mandate masks again?
According to an exclusive Daily Mail report, New York City’s health department issued the guidance on Friday:
New Yorkers are being told to consider masking up this Labor Day weekend due to concerns about rising Covid cases and two new variants.
A spokesman for NYC’s health department told DailyMail.com that wearing a mask may be a ‘good idea’ in crowded indoor areas this weekend when people are expected to congregate in large groups for the holidays.
But they also expressed that ‘nothing about the guidance has changed’ and that the city currently had no plans to make masks compulsory.
New York City is currently recording a rise in Covid cases and hospital admissions caused by the virus.
The latest data suggests the city’s infection rate is about 18 cases per 100,000 people on August 29 — although this is likely to be an underestimate because so few people are now testing themselves for the virus.
Hospitalizations are also rising, with 502 patients who had Covid admitted to the city’s hospitals on August 31.
That marks a five percent rise compared to the previous week. However, it is still well below the peak this year of almost 2,000 patients in hospital.
The recent uptick in COVID cases has prompted many to speculate that this might be an opportunity for folks on the left to reintroduce mask mandates and possibly lockdown orders. So far, cities have refrained from moving in that direction. But given what the nation has already gone through, there is reason for concern – especially from a liberty perspective.
Further compounding the issue is the introduction of two new variants – the EG.5 variant, also known as Eris, and the BA.2.86 variant, which has been discovered in the city’s wastewater. Reports suggest these variants could be better at evading immunity and vaccines. Health experts around the globe have urged calm, noting that most people now have some form of natural immunity to the virus.
Nevertheless, some New York hospitals and universities have resurrected their mask requirements. Arkansas State University, California State University, Jacksonville University, and several other educational institutions have put these measures back in place amid the rise in coronavirus cases.
The data shows a 19 percent increase in hospital admissions due to the virus, along with a slight uptick in fatalities. If this trend continues, questions about reinstating mask mandates are becoming more relevant. There is little doubt that if the left sees another opportunity to use COVID to enact further restrictions on the public, they will take it – unless there is enough of an outcry against it.