NYC officials recommend masks indoors due to COVID surge
New York City health officials said Friday all New Yorkers should wear high-quality face masks indoors and near crowds due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Driving the news: "We're currently seeing high levels of COVID-19 in NYC," the city's Department of Health said in a tweet recommending N95, KN95 or KF94 masks for the public.
State of play: The city's COVID positivity rate has risen to 14%, which is the highest level since January, CBS News reports.
- City officials said New Yorkers should wear high-quality masks "in all public indoor settings and around crowds outside" due to the spike.
- New York City has been planning to change its color-coded alert system because it wasn't well-equipped to tackle new variants, officials said, NY 1 reports.
What they're saying: "A new variant, new variants, are finding their way into the city," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said. "And as it comes about, as they come about, we continue to pivot and shift."
- "We're now looking at and bringing in experts from all across the globe, and finding out, how do we continue to prepare New Yorkers and Americans in dealing with the pivoting and shifting of COVID?" Adams said.
The big picture: The recent COVID surge has been tied to a subvariant of omicron known as BA.5, the most transmissible subvariant yet, Axios' Tina Reed writes.
- BA.5 now accounts for at least 54% of total COVID cases, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.
- The variant can infect those with immunity from other omicron infections.