sources – NBC Connecticut – .

sources – NBC Connecticut – .

New York City will require all workers at health facilities and city-run hospitals to be vaccinated or take weekly COVID tests, with positivity rates continuing to rise as the delta variant spreads, officials said. from the town hall to NBC New York.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will release details of the requirement at his regular 10 a.m. press conference on Wednesday, sources said. The plan targets the third of the city’s healthcare and hospital workers who remain unvaccinated.

“It’s a matter of safety in a health care facility,” said Bill Neidhardt, the mayor’s press secretary.

The mayor’s spokesperson said that starting in August, all staff at the city’s eleven public hospitals – such as Harlem Hospital, Bellevue Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital – must either provide single proof received the vaccine or undergo weekly COVID tests to make sure they are negative before reporting for work. The policy will also apply to workers who see patients in health service clinics.

City Health + Hospitals officials said only 58% of staff in their facilities were vaccinated, and said the new measure will be taken to protect patients and staff from the delta variant.

Despite the rise in COVID rates, the mayor hinted on Tuesday that a new approach was in the works, but made it clear he was not looking to bring back an indoor mask warrant.

The rapid spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 in under-vaccinated neighborhoods threatens to undermine pandemic progress across the country and New York City. Calls have grown in recent weeks for elected officials to reinstate indoor mask mandates to protect the millions of Americans who have yet to be immunized.

For more than a month in a row, New York has reported a sustained decline in new COVID infections as well as fewer hospitalizations and deaths, but lately the number of new daily cases has surpassed 1,000, a significant increase from to the roughly 300 to 400 new cases a day that Governor Andrew Cuomo reported 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 shocking increase fueled by the delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in all five boroughs and across nationwide. .

Asked about the problem of masks in schools, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently said that the term was expected at this point to remain in public schools across the city. The CDC still recommends the same, although de Blasio says that could very well change by September. If so, he will reassess – the mayor reiterated the same approach on both points when asked about it on Monday.

This position is in line with updated guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which state that anyone over the age of 2 should wear masks, regardless of their immunization status, when schools reopen in the fall.

The nation’s leading pediatrician group has said it is recommending universal masking because much of the student body is not yet eligible for vaccination. It’s unclear how quickly that will change, or how likely parents will be to have their young children dosed when the federal government approves injections for children under 12.

Research consistently shows that opening schools in person generally does not increase community transmission of COVID when masks and other protocols are used, according to the AAP, and the emergence of more contagious variants, some of which are linked to more serious results, poses a particular threat to people. who are not vaccinated.

Beyond the classroom, de Blasio said he does not plan to reinstate a city-wide mask mandate even if COVID-19 cases increase, choosing instead to focus on vaccination more residents. The mayor, like others, says the latest increases in cases are usually in people who are not immune. He also pointed to the continued decline in new hospitalization and death rates, testifying to the power of vaccination to reduce the worst outcomes associated with the respiratory disease that first appeared in Wuhan in 2019.

“A mask does not stop the progression of the variant,” de Blasio said Monday. “Vaccination does it. We’re going to go where the real impact is, at the end of the day. “

There have been calls for New York City to follow the lead of Los Angeles County, which announced last week that it would require masks to be worn indoors amid a surge in cases virus. And the mayor disagrees with New York City Council health committee chairman Mark Levine, who has launched a return to indoor mask mandates.

“I think there is something to be said about Mask Solidarity – if we all do it, it becomes natural. But if you leave it to an honor system, soon no one is wearing a mask, ”Levin said Monday. “We need to act now to slow down what could be another wave. Before seeing hospitalizations and may God preserve us, deaths. “

But de Blasio insisted that vaccinations are a better strategy for the country’s most populous city, where 4.8 million people receive at least one dose.

“Masks are valuable, without a doubt, but masks don’t get to the root of the problem. Vaccination is, ”said the mayor during a press briefing broadcast live. “So we do not intend a mask mandate. We intend to double the vaccination.

To date, nearly 65% ​​of adults in New York City are fully immunized, while over 70% have received at least one dose. Statewide, those numbers are 67.3% and 74%, respectively, although vaccination rates decline dramatically with age.

According to the latest data, around 31% of children aged 12 to 15 are fully immunized, compared to 48.9% and 54.2% of the following two older cohorts, which respectively cover people aged 16 to 25 and from 26 to 34 years old. 6 and under aren’t even eligible for the shots yet and we still know when they will be.

Case trends are similar nationwide, 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.

Four of New York’s mass vaccination sites closed on Monday as the state plans to redistribute 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.

Gov. Phil Murphy followed suit regarding mass vaccination sites in New Jersey, where the number of new daily cases has also seen a significant increase in recent weeks despite relatively stable hospitalization and death rates.

The number of daily cases in New Jersey has increased by more than 100% in the past 14 days, according to data from the New York Times. As appears to be the case in New York and elsewhere in the country, the delta variant appears to be fueling the spread.

This variety is the most dominant in the Garden State. Data from the Ministry of Health shows it accounts for 40.7% of samples sequenced in the past four weeks, down from 26.8% a week ago and 7.3% two weeks earlier.

New data released by Murphy on Monday shows the state’s transmission rate at 1.37, the highest in three months. Almost all of the new and serious cases involve unvaccinated people and a fraction represent so-called revolutionary cases among people already vaccinated, the governor said.

“These numbers speak for themselves. We only have one pandemic among the unvaccinated. All eligible people 12 years and older should go for the vaccine, ”Murphy noted on Monday.

The governor of New Jersey said at the end of June that masks would not be mandatory in public schools in his state for the next school year, unless there is an unexpected development. He also reiterated this point on Monday.

“We continue to be comfortable where we are,” said Murphy. “We look at it like a hawk. I don’t want to go back, but if we think it’s the right thing to do, we’ll do what public health experts suggest. “

State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the rate of positive test results had recently increased for children up to 13 years old, and more sharply in children 4 and under. She added that overall cases, the hospitalization rate and the percentage of intensive care patients have remained low.

Murphy and Persichilli provided an update on the number of fully vaccinated people in the state who have tested positive for COVID-19, known as “breakthrough” infections. As of June 28, they have found around 3,500 positive cases, 84 requiring hospitalization and 31 deaths among the state’s 4.4 million vaccinated people.


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