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New Yorkers urged to wear masks amid rising COVID concerns for holiday weekend.

New Yorkers Urged to Wear Masks as COVID-19 Cases Spike

New Yorkers are being advised by health ‌authorities ⁢to consider wearing masks ⁢during the⁤ Labor Day weekend as COVID-19 cases have spiked and ‌amid a broader resurgence of‌ pandemic hysteria that⁣ is fueling a “we will not comply” trend that opposes any new mandates.

NYC ⁢Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul have urged New Yorkers to take extra​ precautions, including resorting to “proven prevention tools” like donning masks.

According to the⁣ latest data from the ​New York City Health Department, there have been 825 daily cases of COVID-19 on average⁤ over the past week. While this is several times higher ‍than the seven-day average of 230 cases reported on July 4, it is far lower than the 2,000-plus cases around this time in 2022.

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Even though overall ⁣COVID-19 indicators are ⁣much lower than a year ago, some institutions have started to adopt mask ⁢mandates, sparking ⁤pushback ‍ in some circles and a⁤ “we will not comply” trend on social media.

For instance, former ⁢President⁤ Donald Trump recently accused “left-wing⁤ lunatics” of fear-mongering about new COVID-19⁤ variants in‌ order to⁣ justify the reintroduction of lockdown policies and other⁢ mandates—all in a bid to rig⁣ the 2024 election.

“We will not shut down our schools. ‍We will not accept your lockdowns. We will not abide by your ⁢mask ⁢mandates, and​ we will not ‍tolerate your vaccine mandates,” the former ‍president‍ said in a video posted on ‍Truth Social.

The purposefulness of mask mandates has also​ faced challenges from some ⁢in ⁤the scientific community, ‌with a recent​ study linking extended⁤ mask use to excessive inhalation of ⁣toxic volatile organic compounds, which can have harmful effects on health.

New York Authorities Urge Precautions

In separate statements issued on Aug.‌ 29, Dr. Vasan and Ms. Hochul urged New Yorkers to take extra precautions in the face of the ⁢recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

And ‌a spokesperson for the New York ⁤City Health Department reportedly told the Daily Mail that, as COVID-19 cases rise, precautions like face masks may be “a good idea.”

Asked about the issue of masking ​recommendations, a spokesperson for the New York⁣ City⁤ Health Department told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement⁣ that nothing about masking guidance has changed, while pointing to Dr.⁢ Vasan’s recent remarks on precautions.

Dr. Vasan ⁤said in an ⁣ Aug. 29 statement that ‌while the BA.2.86 variant of COVID-19 has not yet ‌been⁣ detected in anyone in New York, it is ‌”almost certainly circulating here.”

He added that, as cases rise, precautions become increasingly important, especially ​for those who are older or have underlying health conditions.

“Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, along ⁣with ‌other proven prevention tools–like masking, testing, and staying home when sick–continue to be our best defense against COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses,” Dr. Vasana said.

In a similar ‌vein, ‍Ms. Hochul recommended extra precautions, also mentioning ⁢masks.

“While New Yorkers might want to be done with COVID-19, COVID-19 isn’t done ‌with us,” Ms. Hochul said⁣ in a statement on Aug. 29.

Citing a recent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases, Ms. Hochul said: “I⁣ strongly urge everyone to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their communities.”

“To keep New Yorkers safe, my‌ administration‌ will continue to monitor this situation,‍ share information on ‍the new boosters as ‍soon as it’s available, and continue to⁢ make N-95 masks available statewide,” she said.

People wear masks as ‍they pass through a pedestrian subway as infectious coronavirus Delta variant cases continued to rise in New York City, New ​York, ‍on⁣ July 26, 2021. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

The warnings from government and health officials come amid a torrent of media reports about a‍ new COVID-19‌ variant circulating, while⁣ President Joe Biden said last week that‌ all Americans would likely⁢ be advised to get another booster.

Overall in the United States, there’s been an 18.8 percent rise in hospital admissions due to⁣ COVID-19 in the most recent week, according to ‍ data from the Centers for Disease⁤ Control and Prevention (CDC). Over the same period, there’s ⁤been a 17.6 percent increase in COVID-19 deaths while test ⁤positivity is up 14.9 percent, per the CDC.

A CDC spokesperson⁢ told The Epoch Times on Aug. 29 that ⁤hospital admission levels “are currently low” for around 96 percent of health systems in the United States and that the agency’s ‍advice ‍for COVID-19 mitigation measures is tied to hospital admission ⁣levels.

The CDC has ⁤not ‍issued ​any updated‍ guidelines‌ regarding mask mandates.

Mask Mandates Reappear

Even though overall COVID-19 indicators are much‍ lower than‌ a‍ year ago, some institutions have⁤ begun reimposing masking requirements.

A handful of​ hospitals across the‍ country have reinstated mandates, though some have required masks only for staff, nurses, and doctors, while patients and visitors are exempt.

In New York, several upstate ⁣hospitals have required masking for anyone who goes into the facilities. They include ⁣United Health Services in Binghamton, Auburn Community Hospital in Auburn, and University Hospital in Syracuse.

Bucking this trend is Northwell Health on Long Island, with the hospital telling‌ Newsday that ‍neither the‌ number of patients nor the severity of the disease warrants‍ a reinstatement of mask mandates for now.

Several other Long Island‌ hospital⁢ systems told​ the outlet ‌that they⁤ aren’t planning on bringing back mask mandates anytime soon—or not ⁤at all.

In Massachusetts, UMass Memorial Hospital confirmed in a ​statement on Aug. 24 that it would⁣ reimpose masking​ for ⁢staff, with patients and visitors exempt.

In California, a Kaiser Permanente⁢ facility in Santa Rosa said it would reimpose its mask mandate, but it⁢ then issued a ⁢statement several days later saying it only applied to staff.

A woman receives⁤ protective face masks while she waits in line at a food bank at St. Bartholomew Church, in New York, on May 15, ⁤2020. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

‘Lunatic’ Ploy to Rig Election?

There has been​ pushback to the prospect of renewed COVID-19 mandates in‍ the​ face of a resurgence‌ of pandemic anxiety that some say is being whipped up by some⁣ media outlets and others.

President Trump said​ recently that fear-mongering about new COVID-19 variants was being done ‌to justify‌ policies that will make it easier to cheat in the 2024 election.

He made the remarks in a video posted on Aug. 30 on Truth Social, saying that his message should serve as a warning‌ to every COVID-19 “tyrant” who not only wants to “take away ⁢our freedom” but who would be playing into the hands of those wanting to exploit COVID-19 restrictions to interfere in



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