What there is to know
- The moving average of new cases in New York has increased by more than 64% in the past seven days compared to the weekly average of the previous four weeks; delta has become the dominant strain and is fueling the latest spread
- The trend is similar nationally, where COVID-19 cases last week increased by 17,000 nationwide over a 14-day period for the first time since late fall
- Los Angeles became the most populous county in the country to reinstate indoor mask warrants over the weekend due to the spread. Some in other major cities, including New York, have requested the same
The rapid spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 in under-vaccinated neighborhoods threatens to cause a major setback in the progression of the New York (and the country’s) pandemic, as calls have risen for elected officials to restore indoor mask mandates to protect the millions of Americans who have yet to be immunized.
For weeks, the Empire State has reported a sustained decline in new COVID infections as well as a decrease in hospitalizations and deaths, but lately the number of new daily cases has surpassed 1,000, up significantly from some 300 to 400 new cases per day recorded by Governor Andrew. Cuomo was reporting just a month ago.
In New York City, the moving average of new cases rose more than 64% from the weekly average for the previous four weeks on Monday – a jarring increase fueled by the delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in all five boroughs and across nationwide. .
New hospitalization and death rates in the epicenter of the single pandemic remain on the decline for now – a testament, officials say, to the power of vaccination to reduce the worst outcomes associated with respiratory disease.
As the ‘hypertransmissible’ Delta variant increases in communities across the United States, CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky has issued a stern warning to those who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus, stating: “Our greater concern is that we are going to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and, sadly, deaths among the unvaccinated.
The trend is similar nationally, where COVID-19 cases last week increased by 17,000 nationwide over a 14-day period for the first time since late fall. An increase in hospitalizations and deaths historically follows a peak in illness.
US Surgeon General Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said it would be appropriate for local governments to reinstate mask warrants while former surgeon general Dr Jerome Adams took on a more urgent tone on Sunday. He called the mask loosening guidelines “premature” and “harmful” in the face of the spread of the delta variant and urged everyone to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.
Masks are still required for those vaccinated in certain scenarios, including on public transport, airports, schools and other places deemed to be at higher risk. But this rule has been lifted for people vaccinated in the vast majority of cases.
Los Angeles became the most populous county in the country to reinstate indoor mask warrants over the weekend due to the spread. Some in other major cities, including New York, have asked for the same. Locally, officials say they think the current guidelines are appropriate, but are monitoring the situation closely.
New York City Council Health Committee Chairman Mark Levine appealed on Twitter to bring back the mandatory masks, saying in part: “It’s time to renew the mandate of indoor masks, including for those who are vaxed. Remember that indoor masking protects many vulnerable people – children, the immunocompromised, workers. “
Asked about the possibility of reinstating the mask’s tenure, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday that there were no plans to do so “for now.” The mayor systematically points to immobile hospitalization rates as a key indicator.
While the number of cases and hospitalizations in the United States is still well below the levels of the worst of the pandemic earlier this year, Murthy said the worsening situation shows the need to convince more people to to get vaccinated.
“This is our fastest and most efficient way out of this pandemic,” he said.
During a White House briefing Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy shared his new thoughts on the dangers of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
About 186 million Americans have received at least one injection to date, but another 90 million eligible Americans have not. Authorities are trying to overcome the reluctance or outright refusal of some – especially conservative rural whites – to get vaccinated, but it’s unclear how to do it successfully. Thus, provisionally, some places have returned to health precautions that had been put aside.
Meanwhile, four of New York’s mass vaccination sites are expected to close on Monday as the state plans to reallocate resources into more localized operations. The Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center, Plattsburgh International Airport, SUNY Polytechnic Institute – Utica and Jones Beach venues will close.
Cuomo cited the decline in demand and the “milestone” achievements in vaccinations for the closure of mass vaccination sites.
“Over the weeks and months, a number of sites will be reduced based on demand, proximity to other vaccination sites and other locally targeted efforts. The transition reflects the state’s plan to focus resources on areas where postcode data indicates vaccination rate. is below the state average, ”the governor’s office said last month.
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