‘It’s not too late’: Head of Test and Trace Corps urges New Yorkers to get vaccinated


NEW YORK —- New York City has issued a “strong recommendation” that everyone, even those vaccinated, start wearing masks in indoor public settings.

The new mask guidance comes as the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that all five boroughs are high transmission areas.

It’s also recommending residents mask up regardless of vaccine status. 

This, as the city turns a major corner when it comes to vaccines, hitting more than 10 million doses administered.

The city’s vaccination rate has significantly slowed. 

Despite a slowdown in the city’s vaccination rate, head of the city’s Test and Trace Corps Dr. Ted Long said it’s not too late to get vaccinated.

The delta variant is currently the majority of cases in the city, according to Long. 

“We know what’s going on,” he said.

What needs to be done? Dr. Long said people need to get vaccinated, continue to get tested and respond to calls from the Test and Trace Corps.

“We will defeat the delta virus, but it is a race,” he said, “New Yorkers know the delta virus is here.”

New York City has implemented a $100 incentive for anyone who gets vaccinated at a city-run site. 

Since then, Long said vaccination numbers have increased, but it needs to continue. 

“If everyone in New York gets vaccinated, the delta virus will be defeated and covid will be defeated,” he said.

There have been difficulties reaching people in neighborhoods with low vaccination rates, according to Long. The number one thing he’s heard about people refusing the vaccine is that people still want more time to make sure the vaccine is right for them.

The city has built up the largest mobile fleet, providing mobile testing and vaccinations. He also reminded everyone the vaccine is free and there is even an option to get the vaccine right at home.

“The delta variant is here” and it’s what is being transmitted across the city, Long said.

He also said people can get the vaccine whenever they want, “It’s not too late.”

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