NEW YORK - According to the Centers for Disease Control, 54 of New York's 62 counties, or 87% of the state, are described as currently having ‘high’ COVID-19 community levels.
That's another increase from a week ago when 45 counties were said to have high community levels.
All of New York City is now considered at high risk of COVID-19 community spread, as the state reported over 11,000 new cases on Thursday, the most since January.
Only Orange County, in the mid-Hudson, is considered to have ‘low’ community levels by the CDC, while Rockland, Sullivan, Hamilton, St. Lawrence, Cayuga, Cortland and Madison Counties are all at ‘medium.’
The CDC recommends anyone in an area with a "high" community level to wear masks indoors in public and on public transportation.
Federal officials warn that case numbers are only going to get worse.
However, Mayor Eric Adams haid earlier this week that he was not ready to bring back mask mandates.
"We're staying prepared and not panicking," Adams said.
The city's health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, had said that mask mandates and vaccine checks could return if hospitalizations continue to increase.
"We'd need to see our hospitalization rate jump above 10 per 100,000," Dr. Vasan said.
According to the NYC Department of Health, as of May 20, the city's hospitalization rate is 11 per 100,000 people and increasing.