New York City has issued a new mask advisory as officials anticipate the arrival of the new COVID-19 variant.
Dr. Dave Chokshi, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, advised New Yorkers to wear a mask at all times in indoor public settings, whether fully vaccinated or not.
Chokshi shared the recommendation on Monday, Nov. 29.
He said there are no confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the city, but health officials anticipate it in the coming days.
Chokshi added that there are still many unknowns about the variant. He said studies are underway, and more information will be available in the next few weeks.
It's not yet known how transmissible Omicron is compared to the Delta variant, and whether it contributes to more severe disease, he said.
"Preliminary evidence suggests that those who’ve had COVID-19 in the past may be more easily reinfected with omicron," Chokshi tweeted. "This underscores our strong recommendation to get vaccinated regardless of whether you have already had COVID-19."
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul also shared a message about the Omicron variant on Monday, advising residents to get vaccinated.
"There’s no reason to wait," she said. "Get vaccinated."
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