NYC’s Covid alert level moves to ‘medium’ risk

Posted On Tue, May 3, 2022 By

Posted On Tue, May 3, 2022 By In Policy

Photo by Billie Grace Ward on Flickr

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan on Monday announced the rate of new Covid-19 cases had reached 200 per 100,000 people, moving the city to a medium-risk alert level. The number of new cases recorded daily citywide on a seven-day average jumped from around 600 in March to 2,600 by the end of April, according to the health department. Officials say the latest surge in Covid cases stems from the Omicron subvariant, BA.2.

According to the city’s Health Department, new cases hit 209.02 per 100,000 people and new hospitalizations reached 6.7 per 100,000 people in the last week.

“With COVID-19 cases rising, NYC has entered the Medium risk alert level,” Vasan said in a tweet. “Cases have now surpassed a rate of 200 per 100,000 people. As a practical matter, what this means for New Yorkers is that they must exercise even greater caution than they have the last few weeks.”

The Health Department recommends a number of precautions at the medium risk level, including:

  • Staying up to date with Covid-19 vaccines.
  • Wearing a mask in all public indoor settings.
  • Getting tested regularly for the virus, especially before and after attending social events.
  • Staying home if you’re exhibiting symptoms or were recently exposed.
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water.

Additionally, New Yorkers who are at risk for more severe illnesses are recommended to take additional precautions, such as not attending any social gatherings.

While cases are continuing to rise, they are nowhere near the levels reached during the Omicron variant’s first surge in December of last year. In late December 2021, the city recorded over 85,000 new cases in a single day.

The city has not yet reinstated the mask mandate for all public indoor settings but will consider doing so if the Covid-19 alert level reaches “high.” For the city to move to that level, new cases must remain above 200 per 100,000 people and new hospitalizations must move above 10 percent per 100,000 people over a seven-day average, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

NYC first implemented the Covid-19 risk level system on March 7. The four-level, the color-coded alert system is designed to help New Yorkers understand the levels of risk and the necessary precautions to take.

On April 19, MTA Communications Director Tim Minton announced the city’s subway system would be following the advice of NY’s Commissioner of Health Mary T. Bassett, and maintaining the mask mandate within all stations and on all trains and buses, despite a ruling from a federal judge striking down the national mask mandate for airplanes, trains, buses, and other forms of mass transit.


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