CDC recommends masking in 10 NY counties

The CDC is recommending that people in ten counties across the New York metropolitan area wear masks when in public indoors or while riding public transportation.

Most of New York City's suburbs, along with the city itself are currently rated in the "high" tier on the CDC's COVID-19 Community Level data tracker. "High" means that health officials recommend wearing a high-quality mask or respirator (e.g., N95) when indoors in public, and if you are at high risk of getting very sick, to consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.

The ten counties are

  • Bronx County
  • Kings County
  • New York County
  • Queens County
  • Richmond County
  • Orange County
  • Putnam County
  • Rockland County
  • Westchester County
  • Nassau County
  • Suffolk County

New York is currently battling a so-called "tripledemic," as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, along with cases of the flu and RSV.

"If you have holiday gatherings planned in the next few days, don't forget to mask up when you're making your way outdoors or in public settings," the City of New York said in a tweet. "It's a great way to stay healthy and keep your family and friends healthy, too!"

RELATED: NY prepares for possible 'tripledemic'

On December 9, New York City health officials "strongly" recommended people wear a mask in public indoor settings but have not mandated their use. 

"Embrace the holidays, but not let our guard down. That is the message of today," Governor Hochul said earlier this month. "So we're going to continue alerting the public on what's going on. We're not out of the woods, the threat is real."

In the beginning of December, New York had already seen a 76% increase in flu cases in New York, while the state's 7-day COVID positivity rate currently stands at between 10 and 14.9%.