As the Covid-19 delta variant continues to surge the State and City of New York are adjusting their recommendations. Mayor Bill de Blasio urged vaccinated New Yorkers to return to wearing masks indoors but he did NOT institute a new mask mandate. Currently masks are only required on mass transit, in hospitals and schools. The mayor is far more focused on increasing vaccinations, offering a $100 incentive for people to get vaccinated at city sites. This new recommendation comes on the heals of last week’s announcement mandating vaccines or weekly testing for the municipal workforce beginning in September.
Governor Cuomo instituted a similar mandate for State employees and expanded that to MTA and Port Authority workers. In addition, he is asking private businesses such as bars and restaurants to require proof of vaccination against Covid-19 as a condition for admission. “I believe it’s in your best business interest. If I go to a bar, and I want to have a drink, and I want to talk to the person next to me, I want to know that person is vaccinated” he said. Radio City and Broadway Theaters are two examples of New York institutions with such requirements. As is Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group which announced indoor diners and drinkers must show proof of vaccination as do all employees. Massive employers such as Disney and Walmart mandated all full time employees be vaccinated by September. He also called on local governments to mandate all patient-facing healthcare workers be inoculated, something the state required for state-run hospitals last week.
Meanwhile the mix of mandates, recommendations, as well as concerns related to delta all seem to be pushing more people towards vaccination. 75 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 and up have received at least one dose and about 68 percent have completed their vaccination series.
Update: After spending days promoting the announcement mask guidelines announcement New York City changed guidelines yet again. NYC will require proof of vaccination for a variety of activities for workers and customers such as indoor dining, gyms, and performances. As part of the new program, New York City will create a health pass called the “Key to NYC Pass” to provide proof of vaccination. Enforcement begins September 13th.