New York City is expected to move to a “medium” COVID-19 alert level within the next week as its case count continues to rise, the city’s health commissioner said Friday.
In an interview with NY1 on Friday afternoon, Dr. Ashwin Vasan said cases in the five boroughs were “rising steadily.”
“In the next few days, likely by early next week, we’re going to be entering a new level of risk, moving from a low-risk environment to a medium-risk environment on the basis of cases,” he said.
What You Need To Know
- New York City's COVID-19 case count is "rising steadily," the city's health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, said in an interview with NY1 on Friday
- The city is expected to move to a "medium" COVID-19 alert level within the next week, Vasan said
- Vasan on Friday advised New Yorkers to readopt more cautious masking protocols
- The health commissioner also continued to encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated and boosted
The city is currently at a “low” COVID-19 alert level, meaning there is “lower community spread,” but the New York State Department of Health on Wednesday said it had recently identified two “highly contagious” omicron subvariants that were fueling cases.
As of Wednesday, the department said the two variants — which are sub-lineages of the BA.2 variant of omicron — accounted for 80.6% of the state’s infections.
Vasan on Friday advised New Yorkers to readopt more cautious masking protocols. While there is no evidence that the new variants cause more severe illness, he said, they are “certainly being transmitted faster than the original omicron variant.”
“When you go inside to an indoor place, especially when you don’t know the vaccination status of people around you, wear a mask,” he said. “Wear a mask in all indoor settings.”
Those traveling to visit family and friends over the holiday weekend, meanwhile, should “get tested after your holiday gathering,” he added.
The health commissioner also continued to encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated and boosted.
“And certainly if you plan to take off your mask, get tested before and after you do so,” he said.