New York City has raised its COVID-19 alert level to “high” on Tuesday, May 16 amid the latest wave of new infections and hospitalizations.
The New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan issued a new alert for all five boroughs after settling in at “medium” for more than two weeks.
According to the Health Commissioner, all New Yorkers are being advised to mask up in any public indoor setting, and it is being recommended that those older than 65 or who are at risk of a severe illness from COVID-19 should wear facial coverings in crowded outdoor settings and should avoid gatherings.
"These heightened precautions will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep more New Yorkers out of the hospital while community spread of COVID-19 remains high,” officials said.
The “high” COVID-19 risk means there is a greater chance of community spread and there is substantial pressure on the health care system.
It means that New York City’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate is above 10 new admissions per 100,000 residents on a rolling basis, a figure that has been on the rise in recent weeks.
“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,” Vasan said in announcing the transition.
If the Commissioner upgrades the threat level to “very high” - the highest alert - “there is very high community spread of COVID-19 and health care services are in danger of (becoming) overwhelmed."
”As a city, we have the tools to blunt the impact of this wave, including distributing tests, masks, and promoting treatments," Vasan added. "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."
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