Mask mandate reinstated for city public hospitals

A mask mandate has gone into effect for all 11 public hospitals in New York City after an increase in cases of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus.

The mask requirement also applies to all NYC Health + Hospitals health clinics and nursing homes.

Dr. Lipi Roy, an internal medicine physician, said Tuesday that “masks can really prevent transmission of the virus, all three viruses, RSV, influenza and COVID-19.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently warned that respiratory diseases are on the rise across the country. Just before Christmas, national COVID-19 hospitalizations rose 17% in one week.

“I think this is a big reason why we are seeing this increase not only in cases, but also in hospitalizations. Because we just had Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, so there's a lot of people coming together from all over the country.” Roy told NY1.

The mask mandate for the city's public hospitals went into effect just after Christmas. A spokesperson for NYC Health + Hospitals told NY1 that the mask requirement is intended to protect both patients and healthcare providers.

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