New York City is preparing to potentially raise its COVID alert level for the second time this month as a fifth pandemic wave fueled by the highly contagious subvariants of the potent Omicron strain tightens its grip on the metro area.
Mayor Eric Adams’ iffice indicated that a change in the COVID alert level could come within days. The office also announced that a new mask advisory has been issued, urging everyone to mask up indoors.
The five boroughs have been on a medium alert level since May 2, after passing the threshold of 200 new cases per 100,000 residents over a rolling seven day period. An upgrade to high alert would require COVID hospitalizations to hit a critical benchmark – 10 new admissions per 100,000 residents on a rolling basis, and the five boroughs are very close to that threshold.
At the time NYC health officials announced the change in the alert level, the hospialization rate was 6.8 per 100,000 residents.
Should the alert level be raised to the high level as the health department, it would not trigger any new mandates. Those would be considered only if the alert level reached “very high” which is the highest of the four levels.
But the recommendations are very clear. The health advisory that city officials issued urges all residents to use high quality face masks, such as the KN-95 when indoors and in public settings including grocery stores, building lobbies, offices, stores and other shared spaces.
The advisory also sends a strong and urgent warning for people who are at high risk of severe illness and death from COVID, such as those who are older than 65 or who are not vaccinated. Anyone not eligible for vaccination due to age or some other reason is urged to avoid crowded settings and non-essential gatherings, particularly indoor ones.
Source: NBC News New York. Click here for the full story NYC COVID Alert Level Nears High: Will COVID-19 Protocol Change? – NBC New York