Officials urge mask wearing again as COVID-19 leaps 24% in NY
Westchester County officials are urging people to wear masks indoors again as COVID-19 makes another surge across the state.
According to the CDC, New York's weekly count of COVID-19 cases leaped nearly 24% last week and numbers in the Hudson Valley have seen an increase as well.
State health officials say the uptick has been caused in part by the spread of a highly contagious Omicron subvariant that first emerged in Central New York and the Finger Lakes regions, and currently deems 45 out of 62 New York counties as high risk.
During his weekly COVID-19 update, Westchester County Executive George Latimer said there is no mask mandate or any mandate being implemented, even though cases are on a rise. He says the county will continue to monitor cases closely, especially as Memorial Day and summer activities near.
"I think the masking structure that seems to make sense at the moment, is for those individuals, whether they're children or adults, that have a compromised immune system or that have some underlying health issues, should go back to wearing masks," says Latimer.
Latimer says if they were to move forward with mask mandates they would likely start with county-owned properties. "If we take action, it would probably be along the lines of what happens at the airport, what happens within county office buildings and facilities, and then masking requirements for our recreation facilities."
"Because our pool, our parks, beaches are all outdoor facilities we haven't gotten to the point to do that because obviously when your outdoors there's less likelihood of virus spread because of the open air and air movement," said Latimer.
Beaches will still open on the last Friday of this month - Memorial Day weekend - and pools will open the last Friday in June.