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Broadway declines to mandate masks again as case counts rise

Broadway theaters say they’ll continue to be mask-optional, despite rising case counts of COVID-19 around the country.

The Broadway League, a national trade association, said Tuesday that owners and operators of performance spaces in New York’s famed theater district “will continue their mask optional policy through August and until further notice.”

The group stressed that consistent with recommendations from local health officials, “audience members are strongly encouraged to wear masks in theaters.” 

Broadway’s 41 theaters lifted their mask mandates at the beginning of this month after requiring them since productions reopened last year following an 18-month shutdown — the longest in the Great White Way’s history — due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Broadway League said in a June statement announcing the move to mask-optional status that future face covering protocols would be evaluated each month, saying it would “continue to monitor the science.”

While COVID-19 cases have risen across the country in recent months — with around 100,000 reported per day in June — deaths have stayed flat.

Earlier this month, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a Twitter post that it was “seeing high levels of COVID-19” in the Big Apple.

“To help slow the spread, all New Yorkers should wear a high-quality mask, such as an N95, KN95 or KF94 in all public indoor settings and around crowds outside,” the department said.

Tags Broadway Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 COVID-19 cases face masks mask mandate mask mandates Masks

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