Photo Credit: New York City Mayor's Office / YouTube screen grab
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at televised briefing from City Hall on August 2, 2021

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday (Aug 2) in a televised briefing that all New Yorkers are being asked to wear a mask in indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.

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“Let’s be clear,” de Blasio said. “Vaccines are the Number One most powerful weapon against COVID, by far. But we also clearly believe there’s a place for masks.

“Everything we do is vaccine-centric. . .but of course we want to make sure people are using masks in all the right ways,” the mayor said.

Venues in which masks are legally required as of August 2, 2021.

Effective immediately, every new person hired by the City of New York must provide proof of vaccination before reporting to work “or they cannot start their new job,” de Blasio said.

“Our vaccine mandate for the city government has been adopted by the state and federal government,” de Blasio said.

Masks are already required across the board for all New Yorkers on buses, subways and mass transit, as well as in hospitals and health care settings, schools and settings in which people congregate.

For those who are unvaccinated, masks are required in all indoor public settings, and now also in all outdoor public settings as well.

Now, de Blasio said, “We want to strongly recommend that people wear masks in indoor settings even if you’re vaccinated.

The recommendation is just shy of a full-fledged mandate to mask up indoors, regardless of whether one is vaccinated or not.

The mayor also did not forget to promo the city’s $100 “exclusive reward” for those who receive a “free COVID-19 vaccine” at city medical stations.

In addition, de Blasio noted that the NYC COVID SAFE app was being launched on Monday by the city as well. The app can be downloaded here and at Google Play or the Apple store.

As of Monday, 10,003,000 doses of vaccine have been injected into the arms of resident New Yorkers.

CDC Issues New Guidelines
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week recommended indoor-mask mandates — even for those who are fully vaccinated — in areas where health officials say there has been a spike in the number of cases of COVID-19.

The agency also urged students, teachers and staff in grades K-12 to wear masks when they return to school — again, regardless of current vaccination status.

Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters, “In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variants and protect others.

“Children should return to full time in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies,” she added, according to a report by the New York Post.

All NYC Workers Must Mask Up or Vaccinate
Just one day earlier, de Blasio announced that all unvaccinated city workers henceforth were to be required to wear masks indoors at their places of employment, effective Monday, August 2. Those who are vaccinated must show documented proof of their vaccination.

“If you are unvaccinated and you are a city employee. . . you must either wear a mask indoors at your worksite at all times, or if you prefer not to, you must immediately go get vaccinated,” the mayor said.

“If someone is not wearing their mask, they will be removed from the workplace,” he added.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.