Global Statistics

All countries
548,935,393
Confirmed
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
All countries
520,723,315
Recovered
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
All countries
6,350,765
Deaths
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
Saturday, August 13, 2022

Global Statistics

All countries
548,935,393
Confirmed
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
All countries
520,723,315
Recovered
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
All countries
6,350,765
Deaths
Updated on June 26, 2022 8:11 pm
Molderizer and Safe Shield

N.Y.C. Ends Its Coronavirus Alert System as Cases Hit High Levels

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Hospitalizations in the city have also risen, from 725 people hospitalized with the virus in early June to 877 people now, according to state data.

The rapidly spreading Omicron subvariants known as BA.4 and BA.5 accounted for about 46 percent of virus cases in the city as of June 18, and those figures are rising, according to city data.

BA.4 and Ba.5 are able to elude some of the antibodies produced after coronavirus vaccinations and infections, including infections caused by some earlier versions of Omicron. That may explain why these subvariants have spread even faster than others in the Omicron family. But there is not yet much evidence that they cause more severe disease.

The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, defended his decision to remove the alert system on Thursday and said that the city was “re-evaluating” its approach, though he did not offer details about what the city might do instead.

“While we continue to see a lot of transmission here in New York, we’re also at a different phase of the pandemic that demands new analytical tools to match our assessments and communications about risk with reality,” Dr. Vasan said at a news conference in Manhattan to announce new mobile testing units that will provide antiviral treatments.

Nationally, BA.4 and BA.5 have together become dominant among new cases, according to new estimates released this week from the C.D.C. BA.4 made up 15.7 percent of new cases, and BA.5 was at 36.6 percent, numbers that experts said are likely to rise in the weeks to come. Federal regulators recently recommended that coronavirus vaccine manufacturers update their boosters to target BA.4 and BA.5, despite the uncertainty regarding what form of the virus may be circulating later this year.

New York City’s “Alert Levels” website said on Friday that the city was facing high transmission levels and that residents should continue to wear masks in public indoor settings and around crowds outdoors and test before and after travel or gatherings.

Under the color-coded alert system introduced by Mr. Adams in March, certain health policy measures were recommended at each level of risk. At the high risk level, the mayor was encouraged to require face masks in all public indoor settings and to bring back a vaccine mandate for restaurants and bars that was in place under the last mayor, Bill de Blasio.

When the city reached the high risk level in May, Mr. Adams chose not to reintroduce mask and vaccine mandates. Mr. Adams, a Democrat who took office in January, has focused on reopening the city and convincing workers to return to Manhattan, and he has argued that only a significant rise in hospitalizations would prompt more aggressive action.

Starting on Friday, Broadway theaters will be allowed to drop their mask mandates, and Mr. Adams recently removed a mask mandate for toddlers.

Dr. Jay Varma, an epidemiologist and former senior health adviser to Mr. de Blasio, said on Friday that he believed that a BA.5-driven wave was starting in the city and that health officials should provide more clear guidance to New Yorkers about how to change their behavior during regular news briefings.

“I worry that removing the alert system is a sign that the city prefers to wait until there is a marked increase in severe illness and death before any further actions will be considered,” Dr. Varma said.

Mr. Adams attended the news conference this week about mobile testing sites offering Paxlovid, and he visited a vaccine site for children under 5 last week as they began to receive shots. But the mayor has not held regular news briefings to update New Yorkers about the virus like Mr. de Blasio did.



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