As COVID-19 rates continue to surge, New York City is taking some serious measures to help combat the spread of the virus.
On Tuesday (Aug. 3), New York City Mayor Mayor de Blasio announced that people who wish to dine indoors, work out in gyms or engage in a variety of other indoor activities in the city will have to provide proof that they’ve been vaccinated to be allowed entry.
“If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” de Blasio said during a news conference. “This is going to be a requirement,” he continued. “The only way to patronize these establishments is if you are vaccinated, at least one dose. The same for folks in terms of work, they will need at least one dose.”
People can prove they’ve been vaccinated with their paper COVID-19 vaccination card or through New York’s Excelsior app, a virtual platform that can be accessed by New Yorkers who’ve gotten fully vaccinated. The new system for showing proof of vaccination will begin on Aug. 16. On the week of Sept. 13, the rules will start being enforced. Children 12 and under will not be required to provide proof of vaccination because they aren’t eligible for the vaccine to begin with.
This news is just the latest sign that the resurgence of COVID-19, one powered in large part by the Delta variant of the virus, is something to be taken very seriously. Last week, it was reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could reverse their indoor mask policy and demand that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors. A week before that, the CDC director noted that it was an important moment for combating the spread of the virus.
“We are yet at another pivotal moment in this pandemic, with cases rising again and some hospitals reaching their capacity in some areas,” said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
At another point of the briefing, Dr. Wolensky spoke directly on the Delta variant of the virus.
“The Delta variant is spreading with incredible efficiency and now represents more than 83 percent of the virus circulating in the United States,” she says. “Compared to the virus we had circulating initially in the United States at the start of the pandemic, the Delta variant is more aggressive and much more transmissible than previously circulating strains. It is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of and that I have seen in my 20-year career.”