New York City Health Department’s Guide To Winter Covid 19 Surge

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in New York City and around the U.S. Here are ways to protect yourself and your community.

Get vaccinated.
• Everyone age 5 and older should get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they have not
already. Getting vaccinated protects you from severe illness, hospitalization and death
from COVID-19.
• Get a booster shot as soon as you are eligible. People age 16 and older should get
boosted two months after their Johnson & Johnson vaccine, five months after their last
dose of the Pfizer vaccine, or six months after their last dose of the Moderna vaccine.
Studies show boosters provide additional protection against the current COVID-19
variants to lessen symptoms and keep you out of the hospital.

Stay home when sick.
• Stay home when sick, even if you only have minor symptoms.
• When sick, wear a well-fitting mask at home to protect others in your household.
Consider wearing a higher-grade mask like an N95, KN95, or KF94.
Get tested.
• Get tested right away if you feel unwell, even if you only have minor symptoms.
• Get tested after being exposed to someone with COVID-19.
• Get tested before and after gathering with other people and traveling.
• Get tested before seeing someone at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness, such as an
older adult.
• At-home tests may be less accurate than tests performed by a health care provider.
If you have symptoms but test negative using an at-home test, go to a provider for a test
to confirm the results. If you cannot go to a provider, take a second at-home test, which
must be performed at least 24 hours after the first test

Wear a face mask.
• Wear a mask whenever you are outside your home.
• Consider wearing a higher-grade mask like a KN95, KF94, or N95, or a cloth mask over a
disposable mask. Make sure your mask snugly covers your nose and mouth.
• Wear a mask at home if you or others in your household are sick or were recently
exposed to COVID-19

Avoid crowds and limit gatherings.
• Avoid crowded spaces, especially indoors.
• Limit gatherings and follow these tips:
o Consider attendees’ COVID-19 risks, including their vaccination and booster shot
statuses, underlying health conditions, and ages.
o Meet outdoors or in a large indoor space, and limit the number of attendees.
o Wear a well-fitting face mask when not eating or drinking, and ask others to do
the same.
o Recommend attendees get tested before and after the gathering. If anyone tests
positive after, they should let other attendees know.

Limit other activities, especially if you are immuno-compromised, age 65 or older, or
otherwise at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness.

• Ask your employer about options to limit your COVID-19 exposure (such as changing
your schedule to avoid commuting during rush hour).
• Avoid crowded public places, especially those where you cannot wear a mask at all
times or maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.

Check out these resources for more information:

• COVID-19 Testing: Frequently Asked Questions (available at
• COVID-19 At-home Testing (available at
• Understanding Quarantine and Isolation (available at
• What to Do If You Have COVID-19 (available at

Source: NYC DOHMH: Click here for the full guide


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