NYC heads to ‘high’ COVID alert, offering masks, tests — despite milder cases

New York Metropolis is headed towards a “high” threat designation for COVID-19 transmission — whilst hospitalizations and deaths stay comparatively low, metropolis officers introduced Monday.

A Metropolis Corridor press launch issued Monday morning that features data on masks and check distribution efforts notes that they arrive because the municipal “prepares to potentially hit a high-alert level in the coming days.”

The announcement comes precisely two weeks after health officials raised the Big Apple’s alert level from “low” to “medium” as cases climbed and had crossed the brink of a fee of 200 cases per 100,000 individuals. 

After the Might 2 elevation, when the seven-day common positivity fee within the 5 boroughs was 7.17%, the determine elevated to 8.03% eight days later, the most recent city data available. That expected heightened alert got here after the positivity fee soared from simply over a 1% positivity fee originally of March to over 6% by the tip of April. 

However from Might 2 to Might 10, coronavirus-induced hospitalizations declined from a 71-person weekly common to 54 as deaths remained static. 

In accordance to color-coded coronavirus alert level guidelines, if the 5 boroughs exits the “medium” COVID threat classification and enter “high” the Division of Well being advises New Yorkers to “wear a face mask in all indoor public settings and crowded outdoor spaces” quite than simply enclosed settings “where vaccine status is not known.”

Covid test.
Well being officers raised New York Metropolis’s alert degree from “low” to “medium” as cases crossed the brink of a fee of 200 cases per 100,000 individuals. 
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“High” threat additionally signifies that metropolis residents are suggested to “limit gatherings to small numbers.”

The “recommended actions for government” column of the Well being Division’s coronavirus criterion” additionally consists of imposing a masks mandate in public indoor settings. However when New York Metropolis earlier in Might was positioned on a “medium” alert degree, Mayor Eric Adams opted not to restore the “Key to NYC” indoor venue vaccine requirement that he lifted in March, despite the chart instructing the town to “consider” doing so.

In response to the continued uptick in cases, metropolis businesses will within the subsequent month distribute 16.5 million extra at-home COVID-19 check kits and 1 million high-quality masks at places like public colleges, 1,000 group organizations, libraries, locations of worship and politicians’ places of work, Metropolis Corridor’s press workplace revealed Monday.

At-home COVID test.
Within the subsequent month, metropolis businesses will distribute 16.5 million extra at-home COVID-19 check kits.
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Each Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams have just lately signaled they don’t favor including again pandemic-related restrictions as cases rise.

“At-home tests and masks provide reliable and convenient ways for New Yorkers to confidently and safely protect themselves and others and allow them to enjoy our city,” Adams stated in a press launch.

Officers stated New Yorkers have to date been given 20 million free at-home tests

 through metropolis government initiatives.

Blue medical face masks.
1 million high-quality masks shall be made obtainable at public colleges, group organizations, libraries, locations of worship and politicians’ places of work.
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“I encourage all New Yorkers to go out and pick up a free at-home test as soon as they can to remain prepared, to mask up in indoor public settings, and to take advantage of the life-saving treatments we now have readily available to fight this virus,” the mayor added.

“These combined tools not only are a blessing that we previously did not have access to, but also will allow us to combat this disease in the future, instead of in the past.”

The town’s prime physician urged all New Yorkers no matter vaccination or well being standing to put on face coverings whereas indoors.

COVID test.
New Yorkers have to date been given 20 million free at-home tests through metropolis authorities initiatives.
Getty Photos

“Regular home testing and wearing masks indoors, especially while cases rise, is the best way to keep yourself, those around you, and your community safe,” stated Well being Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan within the press launch. “I advise all New Yorkers to mask up indoors, even if you have a negative test and especially if you are unvaccinated, have not had your booster, or are in a high-risk category.”

He added, “We don’t anticipate that this wave will last much longer, so hang in there, New York City.”

The latest city data shows that 78.3% of New Yorkers of all ages are totally vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, and that 87.9% of adults have acquired at the very least two photographs — charges which have barely budged in current weeks. Simply over 87% of of metropolis residents of all ages have acquired at the very least one shot, whereas simply 38% have acquired a booster shot, in accordance to well being division knowledge

As each deaths and hospitalizations have decreased, metropolis and state elected officers have just lately eliminated a number of coronavirus-related rules— together with the “Key to NYC” program, masks mandates for students eligible to get the photographs and  the state’s office mask mandate.

However the metropolis’s municipal worker and private-sector obligatory vaccine rules remain in effect, as does the face-covering requirement for children below 5 years outdated whereas in day care amenities and public colleges.

Earlier in Might, the city Health Department axed the out of doors masks requirement for younger youngsters and lecturers whereas on public faculty property like playgrounds.

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