Manhattan becomes hotbed of new BA.2 Covid Variant cases in New York City

The BA.2 subvariant of Omicron is making the rounds across New York City, driving infection rates particularly higher in Manhattan — where most residents are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Ten of the 15 areas of New York City with the highest 7-day positivity rates between March 18-24 are in Manhattan, which has continually led the city in vaccinations, according to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. More than 95% of all Manhattan residents got at least the first dose, while 82% are fully vaccinated. Close to half of all residents (46%) also got a booster shot, the highest rate in the city.

Of course, being vaccinated against COVID-19 does not guarantee one will avoid infection. It does, however, increase the chances that an infected person experiences only mild symptoms rather than a more severe case that requires hospitalization.

In recent weeks, city health officials have expressed concerns about another COVID-19 outbreak resulting from the spread of the BA.2 subvariant of the highly-contagious Omicron version that rampaged through the Five Boroughs around the holiday season. The subvariant is highly contagious in and of itself, but does not appear to cause more severe illnesses, nor is it vaccine resistant.

Nevertheless, infection rates are climbing across the city thanks to the new subvariant. The city’s 7-day positivity rate, as of March 27, stands at 2.26%, with a weekly average of 906 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Still, the hospitalization and death rates continue to decrease.

The citywide transmission rate is also climbing back up, standing at 90.33 cases per 100,000 residents on March 27. But that higher number is fueled by a very high transmission rate in Manhattan, at 179.16 cases per 100,000; no other borough exceeded the citywide average.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, one New York City neighborhood recorded no new COVID-19 cases during the week: Breezy Point, Queens (11697). Five other areas had fewer than five, and one neighborhood was in Manhattan, with a portion of the Financial District (10004) tallying just three cases and a 1.86% positivity rate.

The other areas with less than five cases were City Island and Hunts Point, Bronx (two cases each), and East New York, Brooklyn and Hollis, Queens (four cases each).

With less than 40% of all New Yorkers having received the COVID-19 booster, health officials continue to urge residents to get the additional shot and increase their protection against the virus and its new subvariant. Find where you can get your booster at

Source: AMNY. Click here for the full story


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