Calls to reinstate face mask rules grow as COVID cases rise

FILE - A student wears a mask while listening to her teacher. (INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Mask wearing is resuming in Los Angeles and some are calling for it to be reinstated in the New York City region. This comes as the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 is sweeping across the nation. 

But if you ask Mayor Bill de Blasio, he says, " The hell with masks, the thing that would solve it is vaccinations." 

According to the COVID tracker from the New York Times, New York is back in the top 10 states for new COVID cases over the past two weeks.

"This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated", said Director of the Centers for Disease Control Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

Cases are rising in all 50 states. Something that hasn’t happened since the early days of the pandemic. Missouri and Arkansas are hitting the same levels as last winter. But Mayor de Blasio says right now, masks are not the answer.

"It’s time to talk about vaccines and go every extra mile to get people vaccinated," de Blasio says.

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But Chairman of the City Council Health Committee Mark Levine and others say it may be time to mask up once again. Even for those who are fully vaccinated

As for children, new guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends those over age 2 should wear masks when school reopens, regardless of vaccination status. The reason: The number of children ineligible for vaccination along with the emergence of more contagious COVID-19 strains, such as the Delta variant.

"The unvaccinated are the most vulnerable now and they're the ones most likely to get infected. Sadly they're also most likely the ones to get sick," Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, PhD, a Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University. 

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But the AAP‘s guidance contradicts guidance from the CDC, which has stated vaccinated students do not have to wear masks in classrooms when school resumes.

While New York State has not released official guidance, Governor Andrew Cuomo has previously stated he would let school districts determine their own mask policies. The mayor has stated he expects masks will be required in schools come September.

RELATED: As rate of pediatric cases rises, NJ holding off on masks

New Jersey Go. Phil Murphy said kids would not have to wear masks unless required by the district.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has indicated no plans to lift the mask mandate for Connecticut school children this fall.