NEW YORK — The city’s COVID alert level was advanced from “low” to “medium” on Monday, meaning there is a greater risk of catching the disease right now across all five boroughs.
Could this mean a change in mandates again?
CBS2’s Lisa Rozner spoke with the Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan and the short answer is “No.”
No mask mandates are being reinstated or vaccine requirements, but there are several precautions he is urging New Yorkers to take.
Vasan said a growing wave of Omicron subvariants and people getting back to their lives has pushed New York City to a “medium” alert level. That means we’re at the yellow band in the illustration from the city.
“On hospitalizations, we see a slight increase. On bed occupancy, we’re relatively stable. Both of those would have to jump up to a significantly higher level in order for us to move into a higher-risk category,” Vasan said.
The higher-risk category would mean reinstating the vaccine mandate at indoor venues. The Department of Health says COVID cases have now surpassed a rate of 200 per 100,000 people in the five boroughs.
“So our message to New Yorkers is go about your lives. Take additional precautions as you do so. Wear a mask indoors. Get vaccinated and boosted if you’re eligible. Get tested frequently, especially when going to gatherings,” Vasan said. “If you are high risk, if you are elderly, if you have a pre-existing condition, if you’re on active treatment for any other medical conditions, please take additional precautions.”
Vasan and Mayor Eric Adams said there are no plans to reinstitute any mandates, or expand testing, but the coming weeks will be critical to slowing the spread.
The mayor said his experience with COVID last month proves that, “Vaccines and boosters work. I just had a tickle in throat, was able to exercise in the morning.”
He added, “We can’t close down the city again. We make the right decisions, we’re not going to have to worry about doing that.”
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