New York Metropolis elevates to ‘excessive’ coronavirus alert stage, indoor masks urged


NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — New York Metropolis entered the “excessive” COVID-19 alert stage Tuesday, and well being officers are strongly recommending sporting masks in public indoor settings.

Well being officers say there may be excessive group unfold, and stress on the well being care system is growing.

“New York Metropolis has transitioned to a excessive COVID alert stage, that means now’s the time to double down on defending ourselves and one another by making selections that may hold our pals, neighbors, family and coworkers from getting sick,” Well being Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan mentioned. “As a metropolis, we’ve the instruments to blunt the affect of this wave, together with distributing assessments, masks and selling remedies. Getting again to Low Threat depends upon everybody doing their half and if we comply with steering, our forecasts anticipate this wave’s peak won’t final lengthy. What we do now could make all of the distinction.”

The Division of Well being and Psychological Hygiene issued an advisory Monday, forward of the deliberate risk threat elevation, that urges all residents to make use of high-quality masks — reminiscent of KN95 and KF94 masks and N95 respirators — when indoors and in a public setting, together with at grocery shops, constructing lobbies, workplaces, shops, and different widespread or shared areas the place people could work together, reminiscent of restrooms, hallways, elevators, and assembly rooms.

The advisory notes explicit significance for people who find themselves at excessive threat of extreme sickness and loss of life, specifically those that are over 65 or who’re unvaccinated.

Map: 7-day rolling positivity charges by Zip code:

The Division of Schooling additionally despatched a letter to households, recommending that every one public faculty college students 2 and older put on a masks.

“We advocate that everybody age 2 and older put on a well-fitting masks in all public indoor settings, together with at college and early childhood training (ECE) packages, even when not required,” the letter learn. “Encourage your baby to put on a masks whereas at college or ECE program and when gathering with pals. Your kid’s faculty has masks obtainable.”

Officers additionally urged everybody 5 and older to get vaccinated and a booster when eligible.

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The well being division advises individuals at excessive threat of extreme sickness because of an underlying medical situation, older adults and people who find themselves unvaccinated, together with youngsters below the age of 5 who should not but eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, to keep away from crowded settings and non-essential gatherings, significantly indoors.

As well as, the advisory notes that the affect of COVID-19 transmission is increased in settings with a excessive variety of unvaccinated individuals.

Regardless of the regular enhance in COVID-19 infections throughout the state, New York Metropolis Mayor Eric Adams insisted on Monday that town is just not but able to reinstate its indoor masks mandate.

“We’re not at that time but,” he mentioned. “We’re not on the level of doing something aside from urging New Yorkers when you’re indoors in massive set-in social settings. We’re not going to panic. We’ll proceed to be ready.”

An infection charges throughout town have been steadily on the rise for greater than two months, and this week, New York Metropolis reported its highest common variety of new infections since late January.

Adams burdened that even with will increase, town is in a unique place than it was on the onset of the pandemic, with key instruments now at individuals’s disposal to assist blunt the affect of the virus.

“We now have the antivirals, we did not have that earlier than,” he mentioned. “We now have extra instruments, so we do not have to battle the battle we had earlier than. It is a new battle. And we will use all these instruments to take action.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul mentioned she continues to work with federal and state officers to make sure the state is ready for any type of surge that might seem within the months forward.

“On the state stage, we are going to proceed to verify these instruments can be found to all New Yorkers as we work collectively to maneuver safely ahead by way of this pandemic,” she mentioned.

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New Yorkers can discover an at-home check distribution choose up location most handy to them and their hours of operation by visiting town’s COVID-19 testing web page. New Yorkers with a incapacity who want help or have questions relating to at dwelling check kits ought to name 311. Those that are deaf or laborious of listening to and use American Signal Language can name by way of video telephone at 646-396-5830.

New Yorkers who check optimistic utilizing an at-home check can name 212-COVID19 to be linked to sources like free meal and care package deal supply. Care packages include private safety gear (PPE) for a family of three to quarantine, two speedy antigen at-home assessments, and different requirements to assist New Yorkers safely isolate.

A number of COVID-19 remedies can be found for individuals ages 12 and older, and might be delivered to New Yorkers’ properties without cost. For extra info on COVID-19 remedies, please name 212-COVID19 and press 9 or go to being/covidtreatments.

Calling 212-COVID19 supplies New Yorkers a right away connection to a clinician who can refer them to monoclonal antibody remedy or prescribe antiviral medicines, like Paxlovid, and prepare to have it delivered to their dwelling that very same day without cost.

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