NYC urges those most vulnerable to COVID-19 to stay home, wear masks

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New York City’s top doctor Tuesday warned that those vulnerable to COVID-19, as well as their household members and caregivers, should stay home when possible — and wear masks “at all times.”

“Effective immediately, the City’s Health Commissioner is advising older adults and people with underlying health conditions who are at an increased risk of severe COVID-related illness to limit activities outside the home, except leaving home to travel to work or school, or for essential purposes including medical care, grocery shopping or pharmacy necessities,” the de Blasio administration said in a statement.

“The advisory also applies to household members and caregivers of these individuals,” the notice said.

“Those covered by this advisory should also wear a face covering at all times indoors and outdoors — including when around members of their own household who have known exposure to COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms of the virus, or frequently interact with the public,” the statement said.

“Additionally, to limit your interactions with other people as much as possible, individuals covered by the advisory are advised not to have guests in their homes except for necessary caregivers and to avoid travel within and outside of New York City,” the statement said.

City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi appeared with Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials at a press conference Tuesday — when Hizzoner said the city’s daily latest positive-test rate was 5.7 percent, or nearly a percentage point over its warning threshold.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo later told reporters that the city’s warning “is not a restriction.

“There is no restriction on people over 70 leaving their home,” Cuomo said. “New York City offered guidance, advice, which is the same advice and guidance that we have been issuing and they have been issuing and every expert has been issuing since this started.

“Senior citizens should be on alert, people over 70 should be alert,” Cuomo said.

“You’re 70 years old, you can do whatever you want to do in life. My advice is: Be careful. … You are not imprisoned in your own home.”

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