Mayor Eric Adams stated Tuesday that New York City was winning the war against the Omicron surge. He noted that although the number of Omicron-related hospitalizations and coronavirus cases is still high, they have begun to decline.
Adams encouraged New Yorkers, to continue to be vaccinated and to wear masks.
“Let’s be clear on this — we are winning,” the mayor said at a news conference at City Hall. “We are going to win because we’re resilient.”
In his third week as a Democrat, Mr. Adams pointed out that the average daily number of cases has fallen from a peak of more than 40,000, to less than 20,000, as well as hospitalizations. They have fallen from a peak of 6,500 people being hospitalized in the city on Jan. 11 to 5,800 patients on January 16.
Although Adams expressed optimism about the case numbers and encouraged workers back to work, experts warn that New Yorkers need to be cautious. According to city data, there are still more cases than last winter when there were an average of approximately 6,500 cases per day.
Testing was limited during the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the spring 2020. Many cases went unreported.
New deaths are a lagging indicator and have been increasing at an average of about 100 per hour in recent days. This is more than they have been since May 2019.
On Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul also spotlighted the state’s declining case rate and hospitalization numbers. She stated that the virus positivity rate in the state was now at 12.8 percent, which is about half of what was reported on Jan. 2. “We hope to close the books on this winter surge soon,” she said.
Mr. Adams stated that he was proud of the fact that public schools remained open and that more students were returning from absences earlier in the month. On Friday, 75% of students were in school, compared to 67% on the first day following the winter break.
Mr. Adams stated that the city has distributed 4.5 million home tests to students so far. Those tests have detected 25,000 cases.
Mr. Adams suggested last Wednesday that he might look into remote learning options for schools. However, David C. Banks who is his schools chancellor said on Tuesday that such an option wasn’t likely and that it would prove difficult to set up.
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“It is a big undertaking, even to do it for a short period of time,” Mr. Banks said.
Mr. Adams stated that the city had reached a new milestone in vaccinations with 16 million doses administered. This includes 2.5 million booster doses. But the mayor said New York was still “nowhere near where we need to be” on its vaccination effort.
According to city data, 74% of New Yorkers and 47% of those aged 5-17 are fully vaccinated.
Omicron cases may be rising in the northeastern United States. But the number is on the rise and it is overwhelming hospitals. Dr. Vivek Muthy, the U.S. surgeon-general, warned on Sunday that the Omicron surge has not yet reached its peak nationally. He said that it would be difficult for many areas of the country in the coming weeks as deaths and hospitalizations rise.
“The challenge is that the entire country is not moving at the same pace,” he said.
Source: NY Times