Just when you thought you could get rid of that mask, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending faces masks be worn indoors in upstate New York where there are high community levels of COVID-19.

The "high" community level suggests there is a "high potential for healthcare system strain" and a "high level of severe disease", leading the mask wearing recommendation.

The fifth wave of the coronavirus is intensifying all across New York, with all but four of the state’s 62 counties now considered high or medium risk for COVID spread.

36 counties in New York are considered to have high community levels according to the CDC’s latest data.

Here are the designations for the following Upstate New York counties:

  • Herkimer County- Level High
  • Oneida County- Level High
  • Madison County- Level High
  • Otsego County- Level Medium

According to the latest numbers from Governor Kathy Hochul's Office, the Mohawk Valley has a 9.6 percent positivity rate, with 97 new cases reported on Sunday.

"As we continue to monitor the numbers, I encourage New Yorkers to keep using the tools to protect against, treat and prevent serious illness from COVID-19," Hochul said. "Get your vaccine, your second dose, or your booster when you're eligible and get your children fully vaccinated. Get vaccinated before traveling and seeing vulnerable loved ones and if you test positive, ask your doctor about possible treatments.".

Hochul says the state will continue to make sure those tools are available to all New Yorkers so we can keep moving forward safely through the pandemic.

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