State Department of Health Continues To Recommend Those Living in High-Risk Counties or Those Personally At-Risk Wear Masks Indoors As COVID-19 Subvariant Cases Remain High

All New Yorkers Urged to Get Vaccinated/Boosted, Test Following Exposure/Symptoms, Stay Home/Seek Treatment in Consultation with Healthcare Provider if Unwell/Positive

See COVID-19 Community Rates Here

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 20, 2022) – As COVID-19 cases remain at high levels across the state, the State Department of Health continues to urge all New Yorkers to take common sense precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones against COVID-19. While New York City and downstate areas continue to see an uptick in cases, the Upstate regions—which first saw a surge earlier this Spring—are now experiencing a downward trend.

The State's Department of Health recommends all New Yorkers in high-risk counties and those throughout the state with increased risk of severe disease due to underlying conditions to wear masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

"A wave of subvariants are continuing to move across the state. As Central and Upstate New York begin to experience downward trends, we are seeing activity in the New York City Metro areas that's akin to the spike we saw across other areas of the state three weeks ago," State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. "If you're personally at-risk or live in a high-risk county, please wear a mask in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccine status. If you haven't received your vaccine or booster shot, it's not too late. Also, test following exposure or symptoms, and stay home if unwell, even if you initially test negative on an at-home test. If you test positive, consult with your provider about treatments."

The Department continues to closely monitor the situation and keep a watchful eye on all regions of the State. In recent days, the CDC has designated 54 counties in New York as high-risk, up from 45 counties just one week ago. Another seven counties have been designated as medium-risk. For more information on CDC recommendations for low, medium and high-risk counties, please visit here.

The Department of Health continues to make public health tools widely available and urges all New Yorkers to use these tools to protect against the spread of COVID-19. State health officials also continue to closely monitor trends over time, including the 7-day averages linked here.

The Department's Wadsworth Center continues to track the emergence of COVID-19 variants and subvariants, including BA.2 and BA.2.1.12.

The Department is also advancing early warning monitoring systems—such as wastewater surveillance efforts—to begin to understand any potential impact of a new strain in the region.

More information on the New York State Department of Health's process to monitor, track, and sequence COVID-19 variants, including BA.2, is available publicly at the NYS COVID-19 Variant Tracker.

All New Yorkers should stay up to date on COVID-19 rates in their community.

New Yorkers can schedule their free COVID-19 vaccine or booster appointment by visiting the State's Am I Eligible website or to find a nearby location. More information on COVID-19 testing is available here, and more information on COVID-19 treatment is available here.