New York City enters high COVID-19 alert status

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Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday upgraded New York City’s COVID-19 alert status to high because of a recent surge in people being hospitalised for the virus.

The change in status came as the number of hospitalisation in the city due to coronavirus had increased steadily over the past two months and as more and more New Yorkers tested positive.

“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, neighbors, relatives and coworkers from getting sick,’’ the city’s Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in a written statement.

“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.’’

The upgrade also came a day after Adams announced that the city would be distributing an additional 16 million at-home test kits over the next month and after Vasan put out an advisory strongly recommending that New Yorkers mask up when in public settings indoors.

Earlier,on Monday, city officials hinted that an upgraded COVID status alert might be on the horizon, but Adams pushed back on a reporter’s question later in the day about the possibility of one.

“If there comes a time that our hospitals are now in a state of emergency, or we’re trending that way and my doctors who run the hospitals tell me, ‘Eric, this is what we need to do,’ I’m going to listen to them.
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“Right now, they’re telling me, `No, we don’t need to do that. We have this under control.

“We don’t have this crisis in our hospitals that we had previously. We don’t have that anymore. So I’m listening to the team as I win this battle of COVID for all of us.’’

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