Rise in COVID-19 cases spurs questions about reinstating mask mandates

An uptick in COVID-19 cases has brought the question of whether to reinstate mask mandates to the forefront once again.
Dr. Daniel La, medical director of AFC Urgent Care clinics, says testing across the Island has also picked up.
"Since July 4, we're seeing an increase in people getting tested because of exposure to family and friends who had COVID, so we're seeing this uptick in people getting tested because of exposure and not for travel," says La.
Both Nassau and Suffolk's county executives said they had no plan to reinstate the mask mandate at this time.
Overall, Long Island's vaccination rate is higher than the national average.
"Well under 1% of vaccinated people test positive for COVID and those who do don't get very sick," says Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. "The chances of winding up in the hospital and dying are practically nil. So, this is just a good reminder that the virus is still there and if you're vaccinated, you are much better protected."
Officials in both counties are closely monitoring the numbers.
"So, what we are really looking at and will moving forward particularly as we get into the fall when people start to come indoors is hospitalizations," says Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. "If we start to see a spike in hospitalizations then we know there's a real issue there."