New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced that, despite a rise in COVID-19 cases, he will not be reinstating the city’s mandatory mask mandate at this time.
Health officials in New York City have revealed that NYC reached a “high” confirmed coronavirus infection level earlier this week, stating that it has created a “substantial pressure on the health care system.”
During a press conference on Wednesday, Adams addressed the increase in COVID infections.
“I’m proud of what we are doing and how we are not allowing COVID to outsmart us,” the mayor said. “We’re staying prepared and not panicking.”
Adams went on to note that, while variants and rising case numbers will obviously come and go, New York City needs to continue to function.
“Variants are going to come,” he said during the conference, adding: “If every variant that comes, we move into shutdown thoughts, we move into panicking, we’re not going to function as a city. We are being extremely strategic and we are fighting COVID with not only the tools that we didn’t have before, but we’re also fighting COVID using the intelligence we need to win in a COVID environment.”
The New York Times reported that, when questioned about whether he planned to reinstate the city’s mandatory mask mandate, Adams said, “No.”
The Times also reported that, earlier this week, the mayor stated that he would not consider reinstituting mandates unless the city’s hospitals are in a state of emergency or it appears that the city is “trending that way.”
Despite Adams’ remarks, the New York City health department is encouraging citizens to voluntarily wear masks in public settings. But the fact that they are not mandating them again shows a change in attitude from previous “science-based” policy; meanwhile, the accepted science has not changed.
Local news station WNBC-TV reports that, while infections are increasing, more than half of patients currently hospitalized with COVID across New York did not have a COVID-19 diagnosis listed as a primary reason for admission. This suggests that the current wave of infections is much more mild, compared to previous infections.