NYC Moves, Once Again, into Covid High Alert

NYC Moves, Once Again, into Covid High Alert

By Yehudit Garmaise

NYC’s Department of Health (DOH) has moved its alert system that warns the public of the risk of Covid transmission to high: after moving to medium, just weeks ago.

“New Yorkers should consider avoiding higher-risk activities, such as crowded indoor gatherings,” said Ashwin Vasan, MD, the city’s Health Commissioner, who added that all gatherings should be limited to small numbers.

Those at higher risk should avoid crowded settings, especially indoors, Dr. Vasan said. People who are sick should stay home. 

“New Yorkers should get tested if they are symptomatic, were exposed, traveled or attended large events,” said Dr. Vasan, whose Health Department prepared for another wave by planning to distribute 16.5 million at-home Covid tests over the next month.

To determine the city’s alert levels, the DOH assesses the number of patients who are hospitalized with Covid. 

In early May, when NYC surpassed 200 new cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, the city moved its alert system from low to medium, Bloomberg reported.

As of May 13, new Covid cases spiked to 292, per 100,000 New Yorkers.

Mayor Eric Adams released a statement on Monday that said he “strongly recommends that all New Yorkers mask up in public indoor settings to protect themselves and others.” 

Officials would prepare and urge caution, but not panic, said Mayor Adams.

According to NYC’s website, 78.5% of New York City’s 8,336,817 residents are fully vaccinated, and 87.1% have had at least one shot.

“Now is the time to double down on protecting ourselves and each other by making choices that keep our friends, neighbors, relatives, and coworkers from getting sick,” Dr. Vasan said. “Getting back to low risk depends on everyone doing his or her part.

“If we follow guidance, our forecasts anticipate this wave’s peak will not last long.”

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