Health officials are urging New Yorkers to wear masks again as COVID cases rise

NEW YORK — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID is a problem for New York.

All five boroughs have a “high” community level, prompting local health officials to recommend that New Yorkers wear masks again, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Friday.

Cases of covid jump and the New York City Health Department took to Twitter, writing: “To slow the spread, all New Yorkers should wear a high-quality mask such as an N95, KN95 or KF94 in all indoor public spaces and around crowds outside.”

The city is up to 15.4 percent degree of positivity. But going back to wearing masks can be difficult.

“We still sell masks every day,” said Michal Rubio, a pharmacist at Bowen Pharmacy. “There will be division. There will be some resistance and there will be people who will follow them.”

Research shows that the BA.5 variant of COVID appears to be more transmissible than earlier strains and much more resistant to vaccines, but infectious disease physician Dr. Waleed Javaid of Mount Sinai Health System says the vaccine still helps .

“The efficacy may be lower in terms of preventing infection, but it may still be quite good, especially the boosters, still quite good at preventing serious illness and death… We still continue to see unvaccinated people admitted and it really hurts to see it,” Javaid said.

Watch Dave Carlin’s report

Health officials are urging New Yorkers to wear masks as COVID cases rise

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Hospitals seem stable so far.

“We have seen increases over the last few weeks in the number of people with COVID who are in our hospital, but very few of them are in the intensive care unit, and this has not caused a significant disruption to our hospital operations at this point,” said Dr. David Hirschwerk, medical director at North Shore University Hospital, said: “The idea of ​​wearing masks when the stakes are high is a reasonable one, but I fully understand that there are going to be a lot of people who are frustrated and don’t want to do it.”

However, Javaid says that when we see an increase outside the hospital, it doesn’t translate inside the hospital for several weeks, so we have yet to see the potential impact of the Fourth of July gatherings.

Sean Geoghan was rubbed in a van in Inwood on Friday, one of the city’s new “Test to Treat” mobile clinics.the first of its kind in the country.

“My wife actually tested positive a few days ago, so I’m really, really careful and just getting tested as often as I can,” he told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.

READ MORE: Paxlovid will now be available at select mobile COVID testing units in New York City

Nurse Practitioner Andrea Rivers calls it a “community solution,” explaining that within 10 minutes you can be tested for COVID and, if the test is positive, treated with antiviral drugs for free.

“Here we prescribe the drug Paxlovid. We do it electronically. It goes here to Inwood Pharmacy,” Rivers said.

According to the Testing and Tracking Corps, 12 percent of patients tested in mobile units have been connected to Paxlovid since the program launched last week.

There are currently 10 mobile units across the city. The initiative will expand to 30 by the end of the month.

“This is an immediate concern. These are immediate medications that can help reduce the severity and mortality of COVID,” Rivers said.

Mayor Eric Adams said the city ended the color-coded COVID system because it didn’t fit with the city’s strategies, including how it handles new sub-variants.

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