The country’s worst case peak followed the Christmas season last year, peaking at more than 250,000 a day on Jan. 11, according to CNBC. Reported deaths also peaked in early 2021 of around 3,400 per day.
With that in mind, on Wednesday, New York City Health Commissioner Dr Dave Chokshi shared a number of steps New Yorkers can take to be safer and reduce your risk of infection during the Thanksgiving and Hanukkah holidays – a time when millions of vacationing travelers are expected to hit the roads, rails and skies, many leaving the city for the first time in two years thanks in part to COVID-19 vaccines.
“The day before Thanksgiving, I feel grateful for so many things: the chance to reconnect with loved ones and the ability to do so in a safer and healthier way compared to the same time last year,” said Chokshi.
“We have made progress against COVID-19 with more than 76% of all New Yorkers having received at least one dose of the vaccine. It’s a big step forward and it’s because so many New Yorkers have stepped up to do the right thing. during the holidays. “
Here’s what Chokshi recommends:
Every activity is safer if you are fully immunized
“Every activity is safer if you are fully vaccinated,” Chokshi said, adding that “people can feel comfortable getting together in small gatherings when everyone is vaccinated”.
Testing plays an important role and is an “extra layer of security”
Despite the widely available vaccines and their newly approved booster doses, concerns of a winter spike in cases are prompting health officials to sound the alarm bells for Americans. Virus testing continues to be a key asset in the fight to slow the spread of COVID-19. Airports in the tri-state area, among other major transit hubs, offer free rapid tests to travelers.
According to Chokshi, testing before and after gatherings or trips add an extra layer of security.
The tests are widely available across New York City, Chokshi said.
About 70% of test results across the city come back within the day, with rapid test locations as another option.
Additionally, “testing and other precautions become more important if you are with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated friends or family,” he said.
Those interested can visit www.nyc.gov/covidtest for more information.
Plan around the most vulnerable member of your group
“My practical advice is to plan around the most vulnerable member of your group, whether it’s an elderly person or someone with a weakened immune system,” Chokshi explained. “Getting together virtually or using masks and walking away can help protect them. My own family are planning to have one of our outside reunions this weekend as we will have family members for three generations including children who are not vaccinated as they are under 5 years old. “
“Every day is a good day to get vaccinated”
“I was asked if the vaccination helped on one occasion in just a few days. My response is, ‘Every day is a good day to get the vaccine,’ ”said Chokshi, adding that he also recommends anyone who is 18 and over to get the shot. a reminder when it’s time for one.
The health commissioner went on to say that vaccines are starting to boost immunity, although this is gradual.
To find a vaccination site near you, visit www.nyc.gov/vaccinefinder.
Stay home if you feel sick
Chokshi recommends that you don’t congregate or travel – even if you’ve made plans – if you’re feeling sick.
“If you are feeling well and planning to travel, keep your face covered and wash your hands frequently,” he said.
Traveling? Make sure you know the COVID-19 transmission from your destination
If you are traveling, make sure you know what the transmission of covid looks like at your destination and plan accordingly, advises the health commissioner.