Mayor Bill de Blasio urged vaccinated New Yorkers to return to wearing masks indoors on Monday as the city battled a new wave of coronavirus cases, but he stopped short of issuing the sort of mask mandates adopted in other parts of the country.
“We want to strongly recommend that people wear masks in indoor settings even if you’re vaccinated,” Mr. de Blasio said.
States like Minnesota and Washington have taken a similar approach.
Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat in his final year in office, had resisted calls for New Yorkers to return to wearing masks indoors again and said he wanted to focus instead on vaccination.
But on Monday, the mayor said masks were necessary after the C.D.C.’s latest guidance, which said people in areas with surging cases should begin wearing masks indoors again. All of New York City exceeds the threshold of new cases outlined by the agency.
New Yorkers were already required to wear masks on public transit and in hospitals and schools. Now they are being asked to wear them in other public settings like grocery stores.
Across the country, some municipalities have been quick to reimpose mask rules; others have been adamantly opposed.
The Democratic mayors of Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Kansas City, Mo., have reinstated forms of mask mandates. So have the Democratic governors of Nevada and Kansas.
Many Republican governors have resisted the idea. Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas issued an executive order barring local governments and state agencies from mandating vaccination and reinforcing an earlier order that prohibited officials from requiring face masks.
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida last week signed an executive order giving parents the power to decide whether their children wear masks in schools, after Broward County, the state’s second largest school district, voted to require masks.
“In Florida, there will be no lockdowns,” Mr. DeSantis said to cheers at a restaurant in Cape Coral, Fla., on Friday. “There will be no school closures. There will be no restrictions and no mandates.”
Federal recommendations call for students, teachers and parents to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status. Both Florida and Texas are facing surges, according to a New York Times database.
Mr. de Blasio said it was important for people to wear masks indoors when they did not know if others around them were vaccinated. If they know that everyone is vaccinated, that’s a “better situation,” he said.
Mr. de Blasio said that vaccines were still the most important measure to end the pandemic. Last week, he announced that city workers must get vaccinated or face weekly testing and offered a $100 incentive for people who get vaccinated at city sites.
On Monday, he said the city had hit an important milestone — 10 million doses administered — and announced a new policy: a vaccine mandate for new city employees.
“Every single new person hired by the City of New York — before they report to work, they must provide proof of vaccination,” he said.