Here we go again.
Mayor Eric Adams is urging New Yorkers to dress up indoors amid a spike in cases of coronavirus, flu and respiratory syncytial infections.
“When COVID-19 hit New York City nearly three years ago, New Yorkers looked out for each other and followed the advice of our health professionals,” Adams said Tuesday.
“With the holiday season in full swing and cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV rising, we are asking New Yorkers to once again protect themselves and their loved ones. Dress up, get tested, get treatment if you’re eligible, and if you haven’t gotten your flu shot or COVID-19 booster, we encourage you to roll up your sleeves.”
Staten Island City Councilman Joe Borelli, a staunch opponent of mask mandates, said City Hall’s advice is fine — up to a point.
“You want to wear a mask? Fine. But I don’t want to get back on the wrong track of a mask mandate. There’s no appetite for it,” said Borelli, the council’s Republican minority leader.
“The COVID pandemic is good in my rearview mirror.”
He also noted that those who are vaccinated should be well taken care of.
The last mask mandate for the public transit system was lifted by Gov. Kathy Hochul in September as widespread non-compliance followed COVID’s disappearance as a serious public health concern.
Adams lifted mask mandates in schools in March.
The mayor’s new masking message was reinforced by city health officials monitoring surges in cases of COVID, flu and RSV.
The push also comes as Hochul and the state health department reported that 94 New Yorkers across the state died from COVID-19 over a three-day reporting period — Saturday through Monday. That’s more than 30 a day, a high number for a post-pandemic period.
Over the past month, the city’s seven-day average of confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 rose, as did cases of RSV, city health officials said. Data shows the city’s flu cases are already higher this year than during the peak of the last four flu seasons.
The state health department reported that the number of flu cases rose 19% in the week ended December 10 compared to the previous week.
Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan recently issued a health advisory advising city dwellers to use quality masks indoors and in crowded outdoor areas.
He said wearing masks – although not mandatory – is particularly important for those who are themselves at increased risk of complications from COVID, RSV or the flu, or who meet others – such as people aged 65 and over or those with compromised immune systems.
Public health experts said the city is taking the right approach by urging New Yorkers to dress up during the holidays.
“People may have let their guard down a little too soon. The virus is still circulating. That could have consequences,” said Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, Dean of CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health.
“We have to learn our lesson. We don’t want people to get sick during the holidays.”
Health officials are also urging staying up to date on vaccinations, getting tested if you’re not feeling well and staying home if you’re sick.
The city also announced that flu and RSV testing and Tamiflu prescriptions are now available in 50 Health + Hospitals test-to-treat units.
And starting this week, updated COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines for children ages six months to four years will be available at all 11 of the city’s public hospitals, officials said.
New Yorkers can present proof of a positive COVID test — including results from their home and those from an outside testing provider — at any city mobile units to be evaluated and set up for Paxlovid, the antiviral used to treat COVID.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/20/mayor-adams-urges-nyers-to-mask-up-amid-surge-in-covid-flu-rsv/ Mayor Adams urges New Yorkers to mask amid surge in COVID, flu and RSV