COVID is surging in parts of New York forcing health officials to tell residents to put masks back on.

Over the weekend, with COVID-19 cases and new hospital admissions surging in parts of New York. New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T.Bassett urged residents to get fully vaccinated, boosted, tested if not feeling well and recommends wearing masks in all indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status to reduce COVID-19 transmission, serious illness, and hospitalization.

Health officials are telling residents in five New York counties to wear masks in all public indoor places, regardless of vaccination status. The five counties are:

New York Officials Worried About Central New York

"The high number of COVID-19 cases in Central New York suggests that transmission of the virus is widespread throughout the region, and levels remain above the state average," Bassett said. "The good news is we have tools to address this. I urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant and take steps to protect themselves and their families by getting a COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose when eligible, getting a test following exposure or when developing symptoms, staying home and isolating when symptomatic, talking to your healthcare provider about treatment if you do test positive, and recommend wearing a mask regardless of vaccination status in public indoor places. Treatment is widely available and works best if taken within five days of symptom onset, so get tested quickly after symptoms arise."

Governor Kathy Hochul holds a COVID-19 briefing in Albany.
Don Pollard

Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties

The New York State Department of Health is urging Central New York residents to get vaccinated, boosted, tested, and recommend wearing masks regardless of vaccination status.

Michele Ursi
Michele Ursi

"Safeguarding the health of New Yorkers is our number one priority and we are coordinating with our local partners to ensure they have the resources they need to protect their communities. With an expanded distribution of testing supplies already in full swing, we are now preparing additional shipments of masks for the region as well. We all have the tools to help keep each other safe and now is the time to stay vigilant – please be sure to get vaccinated, get boosted and wear a mask," Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said.

In addition to the State's recommendation, the CDC recently updated its COVID-19 Community Levels and specifically listed Onondaga, Oswego and Cayuga counties in the "high risk" category.

The CDC recommends wearing a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status, in all "high-risk" areas.

Woman with face mask sneezing into elbow while shopping in grocery store.
Drazen Zigic

"After more than two years fighting this pandemic, we already understand what to do to keep ourselves and our families safe from COVID-19. Numbers are rising in Central New York, and though masking mandates have been lifted, we know that these interventions work to foster a decline in the spread of cases. I encourage people to wear masks when we're in large, consolidated groups and cannot social distance," Assemblymember Dr. Anna Kelles said.

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