Greetings! It’s been more than a year since the coronavirus pandemic made its way across the world and the nation. Earlier this year we highlighted a significant turning point in the battle against this global pandemic, where vaccinations were administered to more than 162 million people in the U.S. alone. New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on June 15, 2021, that COVID-19 restrictions were lifted immediately as 70% of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series. Today we’ve come to you with the latest updates and information regarding the new wave of coronavirus infections arriving in our nation, protocols that the New York City government is taking in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and guidelines to continue practicing.
New York State’s health guidance and New York Forward industry specific guidelines – including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing—are now optional for retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services, among other commercial settings. However, unvaccinated individuals must continue to be responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidance. Currently, there are four notable variants in the U.S, but the most dominant ones in New York State are Delta and Alpha. Below is a list of the variants and their origination:
- Alpha: this variant was first detected in the United States in December 2020. It was initially detected in the United Kingdom.
- Beta: this variant was first detected in the United States at the end of January 2021. It was initially detected in South Africa in December 2020.
- Gamma: This variant was first detected in the United States in January 2021. It was initially identified in travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at an airport in Japan, in early January.
- Delta: This variant was first detected in the United States in March 2021. It was initially identified in India in December 2020.
These variants seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. New York City is responding to the nationwide uptick with more outreach. The effort includes trained professionals who are trying to educate New Yorkers about the vaccine. As of Tuesday, August 3rd, a new mandate was announced and dubbed the “Key to NYC Pass”, which will apply to indoor dining, gyms, and entertainment venues. New York City will require workers and patrons at indoor businesses to show proof of vaccination starting on September 13th, becoming the first major U.S city to take such action amid a surge of new cases nationwide driven by the highly transmissible delta variant. People will be able to confirm they are vaccinated by showing their vaccine card.
President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that some vaccinated people may want to consider wearing masks indoors again. Because of what medical and science researchers know and how the coronavirus spreads, masks do help protect against infection by decreasing the ability to inhale the droplets. Although vaccinated people do not need to wear masks when in public and can resume pre-pandemic activities unless other local regulations or restrictions are in place. But, depending on your comfort level and your underlying health status, you may still consider wearing a mask if you are potentially around a lot of people who may be unvaccinated, especially in a crowded space, to decrease that risk of low-grade infection. You should also consider wearing a mask if you are in an area of the country where surges, possibly due to the Delta variant, are occurring.
Despite the progress made in the fight against COVID-19, we encourage everyone to continue to remain vigilant and practice these COVID-19 prevention protocols which include:
- Get Vaccinated. All of the vaccines available in the U.S. in this country have been shown to be highly effective against all current variants meaning the vaccine reduces the chances of catching symptoms from COVID-19.
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others. • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap isn’t available. • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces if possible.
- Stay 6 feet or more away from others. Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Finally, we recognize that for some the COVID-19 pandemic has been a true wake-up call to get their affairs in order, whether it’s renewing your passport to ensure you can travel internationally and safely, starting a living trust, crafting or updating an estate plan, handling foreign properties, and other initiatives – the team at The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux remains proactive and committed in helping you and guiding you during this time of uncertainty.