The rollercoaster isn’t slowing down for the city dwellers of the Empire State. The “Delta” variant of the coronavirus, being even more infectious than previous reincarnations, is giving everyone reason to worry, especially in counties which have large urban populations.
Most of the New York City region are again seeing positivity rates creep back near five percent. On Wall Street, financial giant JP Morgan suddenly required all employees to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. The big “return,” to work for many in the nations financial headquarters is now in question.
Masks are the next big twist in this never-ending public health saga. The New York State Association of County Health Officials has issued an endorsement of the latest federal CDC guidelines. That endorsement, along with rising infections rates, means that wearing a mask is back, likely for the remainder of 2021. Locally, grocery stores have reinstituted masks for all employees and smaller retail operations are putting the, “Please Wear A Mask,” sign back on the door. With schools reopening within a month, staff and students should prepare to wear a mask, vaccinated or not.
190 Million Americans that have been fully vaccinated will need to take protective measures due to the virulent nature of the Delta variant. Even though the vaccine protects against serious illness or death, Delta can still infect those who are vaccinated. Once infected, even without symptoms or illness, vaccinated and un-vaccinated people spread the virus at nearly the same rate. Nationwide, 95% of those hospitalized with Covid-19 are un-vaccinated. In places like Allegany County NY, where only one in three citizens are fully vaccinated, masking up as the weather cools seems wise and considerate of others.
Here is Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz press conference on the subject: