New York Council Health Committee Chairman: “The second wave is here”


NEW YORK – “The second wave is here” and New Yorkers need to be more careful of outdoor gatherings, the chairman of the city council’s health committee warned Tuesday evening.“We’re entering a new, more difficult phase with the community spreading now, really all over town,” Councilor Mark Levine said in an interview with Inside the town hall anchor Errol Louis. “So I think we’re going to have to be more careful, even when it comes to outdoor gatherings, than we were during the summer and fall months when things were more stable in New York. . It is really time that we were all more careful. ”

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that the state’s daily positivity rate reached 3% for the first time since May 26. , according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The numbers are rising steadily in New York City, albeit at a higher rate in the upstate. Western and central New York City have also seen 5.7% positive COVID-19 cases, based on testing in the past 24 hours, state officials say. Cuomo continued to report New York’s relatively low infection rate compared to most states across the country.

While de Blasio argues that a second wave is dangerously close, Levine says the data shows we’re already in a second wave.

“Every measure we have, from cases to positivity to hospitalizations and I’m sorry to say it, most painfully, deaths – each of these measures is increasing sharply, in some cases four or five times. since September. And the number of cases in the past seven days has increased by 50% in New York City, ”Levine said. “So the second wave is here, and we need New Yorkers to adapt to it and start working again to flatten the curve.”

As a result, says Levine, people should be warned that they should work from home, dine indoors wisely, and get tested regularly.

It is not known if statewide lockdowns are imminent. On Monday, Blasio said the state should consider looking into indoor dining, which resumed just two months ago, now that the positivity rate is above 2%. Locks were recently re-imposed in parts of Brooklyn and Queens after infection rates skyrocketed in some neighborhoods. Many of these hot spots have since seen relaxed restrictions.

But one change that could be imminent is that the city’s schools are becoming completely remote. If the city’s seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests reaches 3% – which it is about to hit – schools will close.“At the rate we’re going, we’ll be spending 3% on an average of seven days at Thanksgiving, maybe sooner. We have a chance, I think, to flatten that curve if we can start crouching more, just by taking more care as a city, ”Levine said. “But I think it’s time to start preparing for the logistics involved in the transition to distance learning. It’s not the kind of thing we should have to do overnight. There are all kinds of challenges, from staffing and materials to communications with parents and families. ”

Levine said the city should at least start planning for the transition to fully distance learning.

The good news, says the city councilor – good news picked up by other officials and medical experts – is that the city is in better shape to tackle the second wave than it was in the spring. With less demand in hospitals in recent months as hospital admissions have dropped dramatically, they have been able to stockpile personal protective equipment (PPE), which they desperately needed in the spring. Levine also points out that the city’s daily testing capacity is around 80,000, which is double what it currently does.

But the disease can still be fatal, and the advisor believes some New Yorkers have become complacent because of the calm summer:

“It’s very frustrating how many times I hear people say, ‘No, it’s transferred, it’s sweeter now. People don’t die anymore. Yesterday we lost 32 people in New York State. It’s the death toll, ”Levine said. “It’s just dangerous that people don’t understand that we really have to respect the coronavirus. It is still a very serious problem. ”


Watch the full interview above.


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