Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday that before Christmas he will make a decision on whether to cancel or change the precautions for the return of the city’s personal New Year’s Eve celebration – as he warned of a further “very, very big increase” in COVID 19 cases in the midst of a recent rise in them.
“We expect Omicron to be a rapid and temporary phenomenon. We expect the next few weeks to see a very, very large increase in the number of cases, more than we have seen before, and then we expect after a period that it will disappear, “he said during a virtual press briefing.” We expect a rapid increase, and then we go the other way and things start to fall. “
De Blasio, who is leaving office at the end of the year, repeatedly characterized the increase in cases as a “temporary reality” and predicted that “we think the outcome will be much better this time” compared to spring 2020, what concerns the health system. to deal with the wave due to less serious infections due to vaccines.
Asked whether, given the rise in cases, whether he would make adjustments to the annual Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration – which the mayor announced in November will be back at “full strength” for vaccinated partygoers – de Blasio replied that the protocol for the iconic ball drop will be revealed at the end of the week.
“We have to make a decision before Christmas. We are certainly looking at the new challenges we face, but this is a fully-vaccinated event and it is outdoors, and these are two very, very important, favorable factors.” he said Sunday afternoon.
“We are also considering other ways we can tackle it, even with the current rules, which could help make it even stronger, so there is a discussion going on. We will definitely have a final decision on what we can do before Christmas. “
As of Friday, COVID-19 positivity in New York City, measured on a seven-day average, was 7.13, up from less than 3 percent in early December, according to city data. One hundred and sixty-two patients are in hospitals in the five districts, and the hospitalization rate is 1.69 per. 100,000 New Yorkers – up from 1.30 per. 100,000 people on Monday.
About 13 percent of coronavirus cases were of the Omicron variant, the city’s health commissioner said Thursday.
Across the country, positive test results from Friday showed 21,908 COVID-19 infections, up from the previous day’s record of 21,027, Gov. Kathy Hochul said – for the second time in two days, the state has recorded a new high for positive daily COVID cases.
Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, urged “vulnerable” New Yorkers like those over 65, for young people to be vaccinated or immunocompromised, to avoid crowded indoor environments – and for others to keep them in mind while making decisions.
“We all need to think about what we can do to protect our family, friends and neighbors who are most vulnerable to serious illness. Remember that even if you are healthy, you can still pass the virus on to someone for whom it can have serious consequences, he said.
“My practical advice is to plan your vacation around your most vulnerable family member, whether it’s someone with a weakened immune system or a child who is too young to be vaccinated.”
Elected Mayor Eric Adams – who joins the New Year and joined de Blasio’s press conference – stressed that he and the current mayor are on the same page on COVID-19 measures, although he has refused to declare his support for Hizzoners private sector vaccine mandate to take effect on 27 December.
“We want to make sure that everything in our power, as leaders of the current administration and the next administration, gives New Yorkers the resources they need to stay healthy and protected. And let’s be clear about something else: There is nothing daylight between the mayor and I on that commitment, ”said Adams, who is currently president of the Brooklyn borough.
“There will also be continuity between his administration and mine when the new year begins, so there is no confusion or gap in our COVID response when I take office on January 1st,” he swore. “The mayor and I are in this together, just like all of us New Yorkers are in this together.”
Meanwhile, there were once again long queues for COVID-19 tests in the five districts.
Sunday morning, 167 stood in line at a test site in Times Square, and 131 stood in line for testing at a tent on Broadway and 44th Street.
“Freeze! Insane! This is the only way to get a test on a Sunday because Bill de Blasio closed 20 sites! Tom, a 47-year-old producer living in Chelsea, told The Post at the Times Square site.” I have mild symptoms and I’m going to be with friends and family and I want to be responsible. “
“I was revealed last week, so this was the only place I could find that was open on Sundays,” Danielle, a 30-year-old Manhattan-based software salesman, told The Post in 20 Times Square. “This was a terrible decision! There must be a better way. I should have spent more effort finding a better location. It takes 3 days to get a PCR test back now, so better safe than sorry.
“I’m hopefully taking a plane to DC to spend Christmas with the family.”
Diane Birtles, a resident of England who had been visiting the Big Apple for four days, told The Post she had been waiting to be ironed for two hours on the 44th and 7th.
“I’m flying back to Manchester today so I need it today. I can not fly without. This is the closest to our hotel,” said Birtles, 53.
She said she was told by a test site worker that it would take an hour for her quick test to give a result.
“I hope so, otherwise I’m not flying today,” Birtles said.
Asked about long lines and slow test results in recent days, de Blasio announced that he was adding more coronavirus test sites and home test kits, part of a six-point plan announced Thursday.
“What we are doing to relieve some of this pressure is to open up more test sites, new test sites, add longer hours to existing test sites, we have added our mobile fleet so people can do tests on these buses,” he said. “We keep adding. Bare It’s just more, more, more, is part of how you reduce the need for people to go to some of the existing sites and spread the demand.”
Dr. Ted Long, the leader of the city’s coronavirus testing and tracking team, promised during the press conference that the city would open eight new brick-and-mortar test sites by Tuesday, bringing the total number of such sites to more than 30, adding 17 mobile devices by the end of the week. In the future, the city is planning many more “test sites,” Long said.