NEW YORK — As the threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19 grows, local and federal officials have urged people to not only get vaccinated but wear masks again in some circumstances.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continued to urge New Yorkers to get vaccinated. Beginning Friday, anyone getting a COVID-19 vaccine at a New York City run site will get $100.
The mayor also teased a mask announcement Monday.
“We are going to be providing further guidance at the beginning of next week, but I want to keep the attention focused on the thing that will make a difference which is vaccination,” de Blasio said.
President Joe Biden announced a similar vaccine enticement program Thursday.
“I am calling on all states and local governments to use funding they have received, including from the American Rescue Plan, to give $100 to anyone who gets fully vaccinated,” President Biden said.
Biden also announced millions of federal workers will be required to verify they are vaccinated or face mandatory masks and weekly COVID-19 tests.
This is similar to a plan in place for New York State employees and New York City municipal workers. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he hoped this will inspire the private sector to develop vaccine mandates. That has already started.
Jeffrey’s Grocery in the West Village requires indoor diners and staff to be vaccinated.
“We are meeting a friend and neither of us had heard of it and were excited to go anyway but now that I know I am going to be super safe inside, I’m even happier,” diner Jennifer Safran said.
Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality announced Thursday that beginning in September its 18 restaurants will require proof of vaccination.
According to New York Law School professor Arthur Leonard, “A private sector employer makes the rules of the road for his or her business establishment.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s upcoming mask announcement, whatever that may be, comes almost a week after the CDC recommended that any part of the country will high COVID-19 transmission rates should reinstate mandatory face masks in public indoor settings. New York City falls into that category.