New York City placed on ‘high’ Covid alert amid rising cases

Move came just one day after US death toll from virus hit one million

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 17 May 2022 19:12
Comments
1 million U.S. COVID deaths

New York City health officials have placed it on a “high” Covid alert amid rising cases and are strongly recommending people wear masks in public indoor places.

Officials said that there was increasing pressure being placed on the city’s healthcare system as it saw high community spread of the virus once again.

But for the moment they were quick to point out that there will be no new mask mandates put in place.

“New York City has transitioned to a high Covid alert level, meaning now is the time to double down on protecting ourselves and each other by making choices that can keep our friends, neighbours, relatives and coworkers from getting sick,” Health Commissioner Dr Ashwin Vasan said.

“As a city, we have the tools to blunt the impact of this wave, including distributing tests, masks and promoting treatments. Getting back to Low Risk depends on everyone doing their part and if we follow guidance, our forecasts anticipate this wave’s peak will not last long. What we do now can make all the difference.”

Mayor Eric Adams said on Monday that the city would not, for now, reinstate the indoor mask mandate.

“We’re not at that point yet,” he said. “We’re not at the point of doing anything other than urging New Yorkers while you’re indoors in large set-in social settings. We’re not going to panic. We’re going to continue to be prepared.”

Infection rates inthe city have been increaasing steadily over the past two months, and this weekthe city saw its highest number of new infections since January.

The city is advising New Yorkers to wear high quality masks in public indoor settings and “crowded outdoor spaces,” the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has said.

The move came just one day after the US death toll from Covid hit one million, which is the equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days.

It is also roughly equal to how many Americans died in the Civil War and World War II combined, according to the Associated Press.

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