Health Commissioner Ashwin Bhasan said everyone should always wear face mask in settings such as grocery stores, offices and building lobbies “regardless of tick condition or past COVID-19 infection”.
People at high risk of serious illness from the virus, such as people over the age of 65, should avoid crowd settings and unnecessary gatherings, he said.
Bhasan said as the city moves closer to the “high” level of COVID-19 alerts at disease control and prevention centers, he is issuing guidelines, representing the expansion of the high community and increasing pressure on the healthcare system.
An average of about 3,600 new COVID-19 cases were reported daily in New York City last week, a number that is probably under-calculated because it does not include positive home tests.
The number of cases per day has been steadily rising since March but has recently declined somewhat.
CDC risk levels are currently “moderate” for Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island, while the Bronx is still “low”. However, most of the surrounding metropolitan area has already been moved to the CDC’s “high risk” category, at which point masks are recommended in all indoor public places.