July 8, 2022 -- With the new BA.5 subvariant fueling another increase in COVID-19 cases, the New York City Department of Health is advising residents and visitors to wear high-quality masks in indoor public settings and outside crowds.

“We're currently seeing high levels of COVID-19 in NYC. To help slow the spread, all New Yorkers should wear a high-quality mask, such as an N95, KN95 or KF94 in all public indoor settings and around crowds outside,” the NYCDOH tweeted.

All of New York County has now moved from the CDC’s medium-risk category, which doesn’t carry an indoor masking advisory, to its high-risk category, which does. New York is not alone. The CDC classified 667 counties – 20.73% of the United States – as high-risk as of Friday.

New York City now has an overall positivity rate of 15.4% over the last seven days, according to the city DOH, though parts of Manhattan and Queens are reporting 25% positivity rates. COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths have not risen lately, city DOH data shows.

Mayor Eric Adams acknowledged a rise in COVID cases but said nobody needs to panic, according to The New York Post.

“When we look at our numbers, we are at a good, stable place,” the mayor said Thursday. “The numbers are ticking up, according to our healthcare professionals this morning, but we’re not at the place where our hospitals have been over-impacted, and we’re not at a place where it’s stopping our growth in the city. So we are continuing to monitor so we can make the right decisions.”

The highly transmissible BA.5 subvariant is responsible for the rise in COVID cases in New York City, as well as in the rest of the United States. The NYCDOH said 45% of all positive tested cases were linked to BA.5 as of June 25, with BA.4 responsible for 16% of the tested cases.

Show Sources

NYC Health Twitter feed

NYC Health. “COVID-19 Data”


New York Post. “NYC DOH urges mask wearing again as COVD-19 cases rise”

NYC Health. “Spread of Variants in NYC”

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