NYC COVID: Health department urges use of masks in public places and in crowds outdoors

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is recommending all New Yorkers wear masks in certain settings, again, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

With the number of cases rising, the Health Dept. posted a tweet Friday encouraging everyone in public settings and in crowded outdoor places to wear a mask.

"We are 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 N92, KN95, or KF94 in all public settings and around crowds outside."

New York City is once again grappling with rising COVID-19 transmission rates.

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According to the CDC, Omicron’s BA.5 sub-variant is now the dominant strain of the virus and accounts for nearly half of infections nationwide.

Dr. Purvi Parikh, an immunologist with NYU Langone Health, said earlier this week that the BA.5 appears to be less dangerous than previous variants but is more resistant to vaccines.

"We are seeing more cases of re-infection, we are also seeing the need sometimes for multiple rounds of Paxlovid or other treatments, so you know it is concerning. We have to keep an eye on it."

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