“I’m proud of what we’re doing and how we’re not allowing Covid to get around us,” Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference on Wednesday, after being asked about the recovery of a mandate, especially in city schools. “We stay prepared and don’t panic.”
To defend his position, Adams cited what he said were stable numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in the city, as well as Covid-19 testing in schools.
“Variations will come,” he said. “If every variation that comes, we go to shutdown thoughts, we go to panic, we’re not going to run like a city.”
City officials said this week that New York City has reached the “high” alert level for Covid-19, indicating there is a high level of community spread and “substantial pressure on the health system”. The city’s health department has encouraged people to wear high-quality masks in all crowded public places, indoors and outdoors, whether vaccination status is known or not.
“A growing risk environment”
The mayor’s comments came the same day that New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan told CNN that the number of infections and hospitalizations were rising in the city.
“We are in an environment of increasing risk, but we have all kinds of tools to help us stay safe,” including vaccines and boosters, frequent testing and treatment if needed, he said. .
Much of the city is vaccinated and the number of recalls is increasing, the commissioner said, adding: “We have a strong mask culture in this city… where people are taking these precautions on the subway and indoors.”
“So that’s what we’re asking New Yorkers to do now is just to step up those activities and take those extra precautions,” he said. “We are no longer in an emergency even though we are still in this pandemic.”
Vasan said he believed the United States was in a “transition” period of the pandemic and that the latest surge causing the number of infections to rise again would not last long.
But Vasan said he was concerned about “the impacts of waning immunity” and potential variants coming into the fall.
“We are preparing for any potential surge in the fall, but it’s a little too early to predict. I think we can prepare for a really great summer if we get through this bump. But I’m thinking of the fall as Good.”
CDC chief urges Americans to wear masks
About a third of people in the United States live in areas with medium or high community levels of Covid-19, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday during a White House briefing.
The CDC chief urged counties with high Covid-19 community levels to encourage people to mask up in indoor public places to help prevent new infections and serious illness.
“While cases remain much lower than during last winter’s Omicron surge, the current seven-day daily average of cases is now around 94,000 cases per day, which represents an increase over the past nationwide by about 26% from the previous week, and a three-fold increase from last month,” Walensky said.
Hospital admissions are also increasing, she added. Deaths have remained low, according to the CDC chief, but the seven-day average of daily deaths is still around 275 per day.