More NY counties meet CDC guidelines for indoor masks: See full list of 31 – syracuse.com

More counties in New York are seeing enough transmission of Covid-19 to return to indoor masking, according to federal guidelines.

A total of 31 counties in the state are seeing either substantial or high Covid transmission, including Onondaga County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends even vaccinated people wear masks indoors at those levels.

The CDC issued the new guidance last week as the more contagious delta variant of the coronavirus spreads. The variant is causing a rapid increase in Covid cases in New York and nationwide.

The new mask guidelines cover areas seeing 50 or more Covid cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period or where 8% or more of Covid tests are coming back positive.

Here’s the current list of New York counties meeting those thresholds:


  • Kings County (Brooklyn)
  • Nassau County
  • New York County (Manhattan)
  • Richmond County (Staten Island)


  • Albany County
  • Bronx County
  • Chenango County
  • Columbia County
  • Delaware County
  • Dutchess County
  • Erie County
  • Lewis County
  • Monroe County
  • Montgomery County
  • Niagara County
  • Onondaga County
  • Orange County
  • Otsego County
  • Putnam County
  • Queens County
  • Rensselaer County
  • Rockland County
  • Saratoga County
  • Schenectady County
  • Schoharie County
  • Seneca County
  • Suffolk County
  • Sullivan County
  • Tompkins County
  • Ulster County
  • Westchester County
A color-coded map of New York shows the state's counties

A screenshot from the CDC website shows a map of New York counties and their levels of Covid-19 transmission.CDC

Cayuga County was previously on the list, but is back down to seeing only moderate Covid transmission, according to the CDC.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said earlier this week he has no plans to issue a broad mask mandate. He said the county will require masks in senior facilities, although many of those sites, including nursing homes, already require them.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said decisions on Covid rules, including mask mandates, rest with local governments for now.

In New York, new Covid cases have increased more than fivefold since the start of July. Hospitalizations have more than doubled.

That said, the numbers remain far below where they were at the worst points of the pandemic. And the Covid vaccines approved so far are all effective against the delta variant, especially at preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

Officials, including both Cuomo and McMahon, have said the vaccines are the best tools to beat back the variant. Both have encouraged more people to get the shots.


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Complete coronavirus coverage on syracuse.com

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