New York state reported more than 1,000 new Covid-19 cases in a day for the first time since mid-May as cases rose amid slowing vaccination rates, the spread of the Delta variant and relaxed social measures.
Officials reported 1,156 new positive cases, representing a positivity rate of 1.39 per cent and a seven-day average rate of 1.19 per cent.
Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, acknowledged that the fight against Covid-19 was far from over.
“As we continue battling the Covid-19 virus across the state, our top priority is to continue bringing the vaccine into every single community here as soon as possible,” he said.
A New York City council member called on authorities to reimpose mask mandates in indoor public spaces.
“We need to reverse this trend,” said Mark Levine, who chairs the council’s health committee.
He said indoor mask use was falling, such as in delis, stores, the subway and cinemas. “It’s time to renew the indoor mask mandate, including for those who are vaccinated.”
Earlier, Mayor Bill de Blasio said there were no plans to reimpose mask mandates in New York City as the Delta variant spread through the city.
The strain accounted for more than 40 per cent of samples tested last week in New York City, up from 26 per cent in the previous week and 10 per cent a month ago.
This week, Los Angeles reimposed mask mandates indoors — regardless of vaccination status — and San Francisco and Las Vegas issued mask recommendations as cases driven by the Delta variant continue to rise.
“New York City needs to act now to slow Delta,” Levine said.
“Because in other places with vaccination rates comparable to ours, hospitalisations started to rise — overwhelmingly among [the] unvaccinated — a few weeks after rise in cases, such as in San Francisco,” he added.