Vaccination remains priority, but officials warn of some high infection rates due to variants – CBS New York

Vaccination remains priority, but officials warn of some high infection rates due to variants - CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Although the focus is on the city’s vaccination efforts, COVID-19 remains a real threat.
In some communities, the infection rate exceeds 14%. Add to that more contagious variants and health officials are concerned, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported on Monday.

READ MORE: COVID vaccine: New Yorkers 50 and over become eligible for shooting as of Tuesday morning

Residents of Richmond Hill are now entering the Queens Library which has been turned into a COVID testing site.

It is far from the lines seen on the scene in January.

“The line went really badly. It used to be halfway down the block. Now just come in, ”said resident Joel Evelyn.


The number of people tested across the city has dropped. Meanwhile, one in nine people in Richmond Hill have been diagnosed with COVID.

“These are the communities where workers, people have no choice but to go to work,” said Borough of Queens President Donovan Richards. “The hardest hit communities are those that still do not have permanent sites for vaccine delivery.”

READ MORE: Former FDA chief worried about New York’s COVID variant and possible re-infection

The infection rate is over 13% and has barely budged, mirroring other areas of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

“We are concerned. One of the reasons we’re seeing this very high plateau or this very slow decline here in New York is because of these variations, ”said Dr Jay Varma, the city’s senior public health adviser.


Local residents have tested positive for the variants first discovered overseas, but it’s the New York-native variant that doctors say is more contagious, and it’s still unclear if it can. cause reinfection.

READ MORE: The first case of Brazilian variant of COVID detected in New York, New York state, officials say

Still, the state continues to ease restrictions, a move that may have to reassess Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“If we especially see the number of people in hospitals increasing and / or the number of people we lose on the rise, those are different realities and then we would be putting different options back on the table,” de Blasio said.

So far, this has not been the case. But the threat remains and renews the urgency to vaccinate everyone.

The mayor said that due to the variations, he was unwilling to see an expansion of catering indoors, and also raised concerns about the resumption of group fitness classes. He said his team will monitor the data.


Local doctors say spring breakers will undoubtedly contribute to the next wave of the virus.

LOOK: Reportage de 23h de Jessica Layton

“It will be in the next 30 days because of the two vacations, because of the spring breakers returning home,” said Dr. Alexander Salerno of Salerno Medical Associates. “We were robbed last year, but we could be deprived of much more than a vacation right now if we start to see a spike in this new strain.

READ MORE: COVID in New Jersey: Questions Remain: Why Garden State Still Stuck at 65 and Over Vaccine Eligibility

Salerno, who practices in East Orange, said the region has seen the same kind of spike occur during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now we have the vaccine, but we’re also competing with the disturbing new variants, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported.

“There are a total of 400 reports of CDC variants of concern in our state,” said Dr. Judy Persichilli, New Jersey health commissioner.

This includes over 300 cases of the variant first detected in the UK and 65 infections of the variant first found in New York City. Multiple mutations in the virus have led to spikes in 12 states, with New Jersey leading the pack.

Some experts also blame the pandemic fatigue.

“We are back to lead the nation in the spread of this virus,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “The presence of vaccines does not mean that the pandemic is over.”

New Jersey has not followed the lead of its neighbors in New York and Connecticut in lowering the age of vaccine eligibility. The Garden State continues to offer it to residents 65 and older, as well as teachers and people with underlying health conditions.

Salerno said the state should not only lower the age to 50, but also increase the distribution of doses to doctors, especially in communities of color. Of course, supply remains the main problem of the state.

“First, we didn’t have the protective gear. Then we didn’t have the swabs to test, and now, in the last step, we don’t have the vaccine, ”Salerno said.

Jessica Layton of CBS2 contributed to this report


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