New Yorkers should take precautions when gathering for the holidays in the coming days and consider wearing a mask while in public indoor spaces, top health officials on Thursday said.
Calls to be careful come as parts of New York state, including Central New York and the surrounding regions, have seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases over the last several days amid the spread of a new variant of the omicron version of COVID-19.
“With the spring holidays upon us, case rates elevated and rising across the state, and a highly contagious subvariant on the move, I urge New Yorkers to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves and others against this new subvariant,” New York state Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said.
Additional precautions include making sure proper ventiliation is being used and gathering outdoors when and where possible in order to reduce the risk, especially for vulnerable people.
At the same time, Bassett urged people to get fully boosted if they have not done so already.
“Vulnerable New Yorkers and those gathering in indoor public spaces should consider wearing masks — particularly with this new subvariant on the move," Bassett said. "If you have not yet gotten fully vaccinated or boosted, now is the time to do so to reduce the risk of severe disease and hospitalization. These recommendations are particularly important as New Yorkers prepare to gather for the upcoming religious holidays or perhaps travel during spring recess."
The Passover and Easter holidays are being observed as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in New York in recent days. There are now more than 28.27 cases per 100,000 people statewide, increase from 25.62 per 100,000 people earlier this week.
New York last month moved to ease most indoor mask rules following a wintertime surge in COVID-19 cases. Some public areas, including hospitals, mass transit, jails and homeless shelters continue to require mask wearing.