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New York City elevates to ‘high’ coronavirus alert level, indoor masks urged

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New York City elevates to 'high' coronavirus alert level, indoor masks urged

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) – New York City entered a “high” COVID-19 alert level on Tuesday, with health officials strongly recommending face coverings in public indoor settings.

Health officials say the rate of community transmission is high and the pressure on the health care system is increasing.

“New York City has transitioned to high COVID-19 alert level, which means now is the time to redouble our efforts to protect ourselves and each other, and to make choices that will keep our friends, neighbors, relatives and colleagues from getting sick,” said Dr. Health Commissioner. Ashwin Vassan said. “As a city, we have the tools to mitigate the impact of this wave, including distributing tests, masks and promoting treatment. Returning to low risk depends on everyone doing their part, and if we follow the guidance, our projections anticipate this The peak of the wave won’t last long. Everything we do now will change.”

The Department of Health and Mental Health issued a recommendation Monday urging all residents to use high-quality face masks, such as KN95 and KF94 masks and N95 respirators, both indoors and in public spaces, including in grocery stores, building lobbies, before the planned threat risk escalated. , offices, shops, and other common or shared spaces where individuals may interact, such as restrooms, hallways, elevators, and meeting rooms.

The advisory notes that this is especially important for people at high risk of serious illness and death, namely those over 65 or those who have not been vaccinated.

Map: 7-day rolling positivity rate by ZIP code:

The health department advises people at high risk of becoming seriously ill from underlying medical conditions, the elderly and the unvaccinated, including children under five who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, to avoid crowded environments and non-essential gatherings, especially indoors.

Additionally, the advisory noted that the impact of COVID-19 transmission is greater in settings with large unvaccinated populations.

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Despite a steady increase in COVID-19 infections across the state, New York City Mayor Eric Adams insisted on Monday that the city is not ready to restore its indoor mask rules.

“We’re not there yet,” he said. “When you’re indoors in large social spaces, we’re not going to do anything but urge New Yorkers. We’re not going to panic. We’re going to continue to be prepared.”

Citywide infection rates have been rising steadily for more than two months, and this week, New York City reported its highest average number of new infections since late January.

Adams emphasized that even with the increase, the city is still in a different place than it was when the pandemic began, and people now have access to key tools to help mitigate the impact of the virus.

“We now have antiviral drugs that we didn’t have before,” he said. “We have more tools so we don’t have to fight previous wars. This is a new war. We’re going to use all these tools to do that.”

At the state level, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul reported Monday that she will continue to work with federal and state officials to ensure the state is prepared for any kind of surge that may occur in the coming months.

“Today, I spoke with White House COVID-19 Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha about the pandemic situation and the administration’s preparedness plans to ensure states have the resources, supply and distribution networks needed to manage a potential surge across the country this summer, and in the fall, ” Hocher said in a press release.

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New Yorkers can find the most convenient home test distribution locations for them and their work hours by visiting New York City’s COVID-19 Testing page. New Yorkers with disabilities who need help or have questions about home testing kits should call 311. People who are deaf or hard of hearing and use American Sign Language can dial 646-396-5830 via video call.

New Yorkers who test positive using a home test can dial 212-COVID19 to connect to resources like free meal and care package delivery. The care package contains personal protective equipment (PPE) for the quarantined family of three, two rapid antigen at-home tests and other essentials to help New Yorkers isolate safely.

There are a number of COVID-19 treatments available to those 12 and older, and they can be delivered to New Yorkers’ homes for free. For more information on COVID-19 treatments, call 212-COVID19 and press 9 or visit nyc.gov/health/covidtreatments. Calling 212-COVID19 provides New Yorkers with a direct connection to a clinician who can refer them to monoclonal antibody therapy or prescribe an antiviral drug, such as Paxlovid, and arrange for free same-day home delivery.

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