You are reading

CDC Recommends That Queens Residents Should Wear Masks Indoors

(Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

July 29, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that Queens residents, even those fully vaccinated, should wear masks indoors as COVID-19 cases are rising in the borough.

The CDC issued a recommendation Tuesday that residents in more than 2,100 counties across the country — including Queens — should wear masks in indoor public settings regardless of their vaccination status.

The federal agency said the new recommendation applies to counties that it qualifies as areas of substantial community transmission — like Queens — or areas of high community transmission.

Counties, such as Queens, are deemed to have “substantial community transmission” when there are between 50 and 99 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in the past seven days.

Counties with “high community transmission” have had more than 100 new cases of the virus per 100,000 people in the past seven days.

All five boroughs meet one of these classifications, with Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx also deemed areas of substantial community transmission. Staten Island, meanwhile, has high community transmission.

The recommendation represents a switch from the CDC’s previous policy. The agency had only recommended mask use indoors for the unvaccinated prior to Tuesday.

The change comes amid the growing prevalence of the highly-contagious delta variant and the increase in “breakthrough cases” or people who are vaccinated and contract COVID-19. The delta variant now accounts for the vast majority of coronavirus cases in the U.S.

The five boroughs are among the more than 60 percent of counties nationwide that have high or substantial community transmission, according to the CDC. While the agency recommends universal mask use indoors for these counties, the localities ultimately decide whether to impose a mask mandate.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has not yet announced such a mandate in the city despite all five boroughs falling into the CDC’s recommended categories.

“We are assessing the new information from the CDC right now,” de Blasio said Wednesday morning. “We got it less than 24 hours ago, and it is complicated information, so our health team’s reviewing it and we’ll have more to say on it in the next few days.”

City health officials have repeatedly said they are focused on getting more New Yorkers vaccinated rather than mask usage as a way to fight COVID-19 and the new delta variant.

In Queens, 78.5 percent of eligible residents (age 12 and older) have had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 69.8 percent are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

Despite the relatively high rate, pockets of Queens have low vaccination rates and the virus is spreading.

Far Rockaway (11691), for example, has the lowest vaccination rate in the city — just 37.7 percent of its residents have gotten at least one dose, according to city data.

New COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospital admissions have all increased in Queens over the past seven days, according to CDC data.

(CDC)

The CDC also issued new guidance on mask wearing in schools Tuesday. The agency said that everyone should wear a mask in schools regardless of their vaccination status this fall.

New York City has already required universal mask use in schools as well as in hospitals, subways and buses, and residential congregate settings. Unvaccinated residents are required to wear a mask in all indoor public settings.

email the author: [email protected]

16 Comments

Click for Comments 
Gardens Watcher

Donovan Richards needs to get Southeast Queens to mask up like it’s 2020 and get everyone vaccinated!

8
4
Reply
because he's black?

Why shouldn’t he be getting all of Queens to mask up? Is it because he only serves SE Queens because of BLM? Or is it because he beat the racist ass you supported? Karen, you are just too funny!

Reply
Gardens Watcher

Take a look at the NYC Health Dept. website for vaccination rates in Queens. Southeast Queens is the laggard with only about 40 percent fully vaccinated so far. That is a deadly serious problem.

So yeah, our QB President has some work to do to bring those vaccination numbers up. And of course we all should mask up, but especially those who are still unvaccinated.

Reply
Damaris

If Cuomo and De Blasio are having indoor press conferencing they should lead by example and wear a mask.

17
1
Reply
Martha

Many business are no longer enforcing mask only policies to enter anymore. They either do not want to lose business or they are trying tp avoid confrontation. I always wear a mask indoors and require masks when i have people entering my house. Many repair men always forget to put one on.

8
10
Reply
Linda

Whether your vaccinated or not you should still get tested for covid 19 especially after traveling or being in a large gathering. The same thing happened in Europe. People got the shot, things started opening back up, masks came off and covid 19 infections rose.

4
7
Reply
It’s almost a guarantee you won’t be hospitalized or die if you get a shot.

Linda – You neglected to mention the part where the numbers also came down.

3
1
Reply
Sarah

To avoid vaccination is one thing because of concern about side effects; but, choosing not wearing a face mask is like playing Russian Roulette.

2
4
Reply
Stacy

As vaccinated I feel BAD for mandatory mask wearing, but I’ll wear mask for the GOOD for the Whole community!! Now extend unemployment benefits and evictions!

2
3
Reply
Marla

I think anyone who understands the importance of mask wearing to inhibit in some way the transmission of Covid could have seen this spike coming. Really, who thought it was a good idea to relax mask wearing when a new more virulent strain was just immerging in prominence? You can still have and spread covid even after being vaccinated and show no symptoms.

5
2
Reply
Don't kid yourself

Tell the CDC to go blank itself; it is unreliable and enjoys confounding people.

18
9
Reply
CDC is reliable it’s Fox that has a history of unreliability and lies

DKY-You come across as a gullible fool. We were told the shots would protect us from hospitalization and severe illness and that’s exactly what they’re doing. Fact!

5
4
Reply
Eliana

I laughed at my sister for packing up and moving out of NYC last year. Now she has plenty of outdoor space, friendly neighbors, is in a safe neighborhood, sleeps peacefully at night and i am envious, tired and scared.

21
6
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

Jan. 27, 2023 By Bill Parry

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.