NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday had a strong message for some New Yorkers who think that they no longer have to wear a face covering in public.
When told be a reporter that a number of New Yorkers, after getting vaccinated, have given up on wearing masks in public, Mayor de Blasio reminded everyone that that is not the case.
“For the first half of this year, now through June, keep doing exactly what you’re doing. Not just wear a mask, wear two, social distancing, all the precautions – get tested monthly,” the mayor said.
He notes that June is the earlier that New York City may consider rolling back mask guidance, but it may be even longer after that.
“June is when we want to hit 5 million New Yorkers fully vaccinated. June is the earliest we would even consider a changing guidance around masks and it may be that we continue that guidance for quite a while, depending on what’s going on,” de Blasio said. “We’re very concerned about the variants, for example, that’s a big X factor.”
When asked why the COVID positivity rate is falling more quickly elsewhere in the country the mayor explained that New York City has a much larger population than elsewhere in the country.
“We’re a really tough place in terms of just how many people here, the density of this city, the fact that no matter how hard we’re fighting there’s still a legacy of lots of poverty,” he explained.
Senior advisor Dr. Jay Varma also pointed to the number of COVID tests that city is able to perform.
“New York City continues to perform more testing per capita than any other place really in the country so, by definition you’re going to end up counting more cases,” Varma said.
On another note, the mayor also noted that 10,000 New Yorkers have now taken advantage of free hotel rooms when having to isolate from their families after a positive COVID test.