NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and the most recent surge in circumstances, one of many metropolis’s high docs mentioned Thursday, “We’ve by no means seen this earlier than.”
The physician was speaking in regards to the positivity price, which has doubled in simply three days, and lawmakers, enterprise homeowners and New Yorkers are all taking discover, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
It’s clear that Mayor Bill de Blasio needed to convey the urgency of the scenario, that maybe individuals 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 sooner,” 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 town to distribute 1 million Ok-95 masks free of charge. It’ll launch an aggressive media marketing campaign to advertise boosters and enhance inspections to implement the state’s masks mandates, along with efforts to make testing extra obtainable and handy.
“We will likely be distributing speedy, at-home assessments. Half one million speedy, at-home assessments will likely be distributed free of charge by way of neighborhood organizations, on to the grass roots,” de Blasio mentioned.
Town Department of Health mentioned the important thing to staying forward of COVID is maintaining hospitalizations down. Proper now, they’re rising steadily, however not radically. The commissioner mentioned that’s the place vaccinations turn into essential.
“Unvaccinated New Yorkers are eight occasions extra more likely to have a COVID-19 an infection and they’re 13 occasions extra more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19,” Chokshi mentioned.
“I’m simply curious. Has anyone heard what I mentioned at present in regards to the scenario we’re in? It is a disaster. It is a well being care disaster and persons are going to die,” Hochul mentioned.
Town mentioned it could be sending inspectors to Radio Metropolis Music Corridor, after studies surfaced saying it wasn’t implementing the vaccination rule for kids ages 5-11. Hours later, Madison Sq. Backyard, which owns Radio Metropolis, mentioned it could comply.
“Everybody’s obtained to observe this mandate. It’s a critical second and it’s a quite simple mandate,” de Blasio mentioned.
The COVID surge can also be elevating questions on quarantine protocols.
“When you’re absolutely vaccinated, you don’t essentially must quarantine after a high-risk publicity except you may have signs. Nonetheless, in case you are absolutely vaccinated it is best to get a check 5 to seven days after that publicity, and till you’re unfavorable, put on a masks in indoor locations and public locations as nicely,” Touro School of Drugs’s Dr. Niket Sonpal informed Layton.
Sonpal admitted it’s tough as a result of the foundations are completely different state to state, enterprise to enterprise.
What does the virus case uptick 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 thus far 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 for requiring booster pictures for municipal employees. As he put it, it’s on the “entrance burner,” and he could have extra data quickly.
CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report, which first appeared on Dec. 16.