NYC declares ‘high’ COVID alert level, instructs residents to mask up indoors





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New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan announced Tuesday that the city has transitioned to a “high” COVID-19 alert level.

“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,” he said in a release. 

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“As a city, we have the tools to blunt the impact of this wave, including distributing tests, masks and promoting treatments. 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,” he continued. “What we do now can make all the difference.”

The department said that vaccinations and booster shots are “as essential as ever,” echoing guidance issued in a Monday advisory, calling on Big Apple residents to mask up in public indoor settings. 

“All New Yorkers should wear masks in all indoor public settings. Those at high risk of severe illness should avoid crowded settings and limit get-togethers,” the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene tweeted at the time. 

Masks, authorities note, should cover the nose and mouth, with higher-quality masks like KN95 and KF94 and N95 respirators offering additional protection from coronavirus. 

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“If you are at high risk of severe illness, are over 65, or are unvaccinated, take additional precautions,” the department instructed. “Avoid crowded settings and non-essential get-togethers.”

Pedestrians pass the New York Stock Exchange, May 5, 2022, in the Manhattan borough of New York. 
(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

“We don’t anticipate that this wave will last much longer, so hang in there, New York City. If we all do our part, we can bring case numbers down in the coming weeks and get ready for a wonderful summer,” Vasan tweeted alongside the advisory. 

Alert levels are based on new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, new hospital admissions with COVID-19 per 100,000 people in the last seven days and the percentage of inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.

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Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday that 6.9% of cases were positive, with 2,497 new hospitalizations and 30 deaths. 








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