NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and the most recent surge in case, one of many metropolis’s high medical doctors mentioned Thursday, “We’ve by no means seen this earlier than.”
He was speaking concerning the positivity fee, which has doubled in simply three days, and lawmakers, enterprise house owners and New Yorkers are all taking discover, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
It’s clear that Mayor Bill de Blasio wished to convey the urgency of the state of affairs, that maybe folks distracted by the vacations haven’t observed how the Omicron variant has modified issues and he mentioned now it’s time to behave.
“We have to cease this variant. The variant strikes quick. We have to transfer quicker,” de Blasio mentioned.
Watch: Mayor De Blasio’s Newest Replace On COVID-19
The mayor mentioned the COVID explosion has him doubling down on the urgency to extend vaccinations and mask-wearing, and metropolis Well being Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi mentioned issues will solely worsen.
“We’re seeing a surge forward of the vacations. The seven-day common for brand spanking new circumstances has tripled within the final month, and all boroughs stay in excessive transmission,” Chokshi mentioned.
So the mayor now plans for the town to distribute 1 million Ok-95 masks without cost. It would launch an aggressive media marketing campaign to advertise boosters and improve inspections to implement the state’s masks mandates, along with efforts to make testing extra out there and handy.
“We will likely be distributing speedy, at-home assessments. Half 1,000,000 speedy, at-home assessments will likely be distributed without cost by neighborhood organizations, on to the grass roots,” de Blasio mentioned.
The town Department of Health mentioned the important thing to staying forward of COVID is holding hospitalizations down. Proper now, they’re growing steadily, however not radically. The commissioner mentioned that’s the place vaccinations develop into essential.
“Unvaccinated New Yorkers are eight instances extra prone to have a COVID-19 an infection and they’re 13 instances extra prone to be hospitalized with COVID-19,” Chokshi mentioned.
What does the COVID surge imply for vacation celebrations? The city has already announced that it is going forward with its Times Square New Year’s Eve plans. De Blasio mentioned to this point they’re nonetheless on, however in mild of Omicron, that would change.
“We’re gonna watch very rigorously — it’s nonetheless greater than two weeks away — and if at any level we have to change the plan, we are going to,” de Blasio mentioned.
The mayor mentioned he’s wanting into the potential of requiring booster photographs for municipal staff. As he put it, it’s on the “entrance burner,” and he may have extra info quickly.