New York City enters high Covid-19 alert status
New York, New York — Mayor Eric Adams upgraded New York City’s Covid-19 alert status to high on Tuesday because of a recent surge in people being hospitalized for the virus.
The change in status comes as the number of hospitalizations in the city due to coronavirus has increased steadily over the past two months and as more and more New Yorkers test positive.
"New York City has transitioned to a high Covid alert level, meaning now is the time to double down on protecting ourselves and each other by making choices that can keep our friends, neighbors, relatives and coworkers from getting sick," the city’s Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in a written statement Tuesday.
"As a city, we have the tools to blunt the impact of this wave, including distributing tests, masks and promoting treatments.
"Getting back to Low Risk depends on everyone doing their part and if we follow guidance, our forecasts anticipate this wave’s peak will not last long. What we do now can make all the difference."
The upgrade also comes a day after Adams announced that the city would be distributing an additional 16 million at-home test kits over the next month and after Vasan put out an advisory strongly recommending that New Yorkers mask up when in public settings indoors.
On Monday, city officials hinted that an upgraded Covid status alert may be on the horizon, but Adams pushed back on a reporter’s question later in the day about the possibility of one.
"If there comes a time that our hospitals are now in a state of emergency, or we’re trending that way and my doctors who run the hospitals tell me, 'Eric, this is what we need to do,' I’m going to listen to them,’" Adams said.
"Right now, they’re telling me, 'No, we don’t need to do that.' We have this under control. We don’t have this crisis in our hospitals that we had previously. We don’t have that anymore. So I’m listening to the team as I win this battle of Covid for all of us."
It appears the mayor has since changed course.
Cover photo: SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP