COVID-19 cases are rising in the United States and could get worse in the coming months, prompting federal health officials to urge those in the hardest-hit areas to consider re-issuing calls to mask indoors .
The rising number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations is putting more of the country under guidelines issued by the CDC, which call for masks and other infection precautions.
Currently, about a third of the US population lives in areas considered to be at risk, primarily in the Northeast and Midwest.
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According to published reports, around 20 New York judges are now COVID positive after attending a retreat in Montauk last weekend.
About 70 judges attended the retreat and some were able to return to work without symptoms.
They are masked as everyone is required to be masked in state courthouses.
With cases mounting, New York City has entered “high alert” but Mayor Eric Adams insists there are no plans to bring back a mask mandate.
“Variants will come,” he said. “If we start thinking about shutting down with every variant that comes up, we’ll panic, we won’t function as a city. We’re being extremely strategic and not only are we fighting COVID with the tools we didn’t have before, but we’re also fighting COVID with the intelligence we need to win in a COVID environment.”
Still, he and the New York City Department of Health are now urging people to use masks in public places, including schools.
Map: 7-day rolling positivity rates by zip code:
The Ministry of Education also sent a letter to families, recommending that all public school students aged 2 and over wear a mask.
“We recommend that everyone ages 2 and older wear a well-fitting mask in all indoor public spaces, including school and early childhood education (ECE) programs, although it is not required,” the letter reads. “Encourage your child to wear a mask at school or in the ECE program and when meeting friends. Your child’s school has masks.”
New Yorkers can visit the city’s COVID-19 testing page to find a home test distribution pickup location that is most convenient for them and their hours of operation. New Yorkers with disabilities who need assistance or have questions about at-home testing kits should call 311. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing who use American Sign Language can call by videophone at 646-396-5830.
New Yorkers who test positive with an at-home test can call 212-COVID19 to be connected to resources like free meal delivery and care packages. Care packages include personal protective equipment (PPE) for a household of three for quarantine, two at-home rapid antigen tests and other necessities to help New Yorkers isolate safely.
Several COVID-19 treatments are available for those 12 and older, with free home delivery for New Yorkers. For more information on COVID-19 treatments, please call 212-COVID19 and press 9 or visit nyc.gov/health/covidtreatments.
A call to 212-COVID19 provides New Yorkers with an instant connection to a clinician who can refer them to monoclonal antibody treatment or prescribe antiviral drugs like Paxlovid and arrange for free same-day delivery to their home.
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