‘Stay In as Much as Possible and Stop Non-Essential Activities,’ NYC Health Commissioner Urges At-Risk New Yorkers

Photograph by Stephen Harmon.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Go back into voluntary lockdown, NYC Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi, MD, urged older New Yorkers, those with underlying conditions, and those who take care of them, in a Commissioner’s Notice issued on Tuesday.

“This is an advisory to at-risk New Yorkers about a serious health situation,” a spokesperson for the health department said.

“New York City is experiencing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and additional actions are warranted to protect public health, moderate case growth and preserve hospital capacity,” the notice read. It went on to list the actions and activities that should and shouldn’t be undertaken, as well as health conditions that increase the chance of serious illness if the virus is contracted.

You can read the full Commissioner’s Notice here.

NEWS | 19 comments | permalink
    1. MAD says:

      Is Chokshi really saying that persons at risk should wear a mask all the time indoors? Or does he mean under certain conditions? The notice is not well written. The guidance is not clear.

      • LivableCity says:

        The guidance is clear. (Why it had to be in one long sentence with multiple clauses and semicolons I don’t know. That makes it less clear for sure.)

        Wear a mask outdoors around people you don’t live with.
        Wear a mask indoors if someone also indoors with you:
        (A) has symptoms of illness,
        (B) has been exposed to Covid19,
        (C) has frequent contact with the public.

        Otherwise, you may enjoy life cautiously but mask-free (as long as that mask is handy to be put on). You can be walking, or exercising alone or distanced, outside, or near others who are safe from your household. You can be sitting on benches far from others, etc. And inside, you don’t need the mask except when someone else is there who meets any of the above criteria.

    2. babrarus says:

      Here we go again……Panic in needle park turns into panic in New York city.

      • m.pipik says:

        Actually Needle Park’s neighborhood is one area of the City that is doing well – so far.

        I can’t understand how anyone can not be concerned about the rapid increase in hospitalizations and deaths and not doing everything to protect themselves and others

        • news addict says:

          Yea, verily!
          Anyone who watches either CNN’s or MSNBC’s evening programs regularly and is NOT frightened by the ever-increasing numbers of Covid19 U.S. cases and ever-increasing numbers of U.S. deaths must have an over-abundance of “sang-froid (“aplomb”…no, not the fruit).

        • Baal says:

          Idiot sheep.

    3. Wijmlet says:

      It’s not panic–it’s based on science.

      • babrarus says:

        The science changes – daily or weekly.
        Remember when Dr. Fauci said that wearing a mask is not important?
        That was in March of 2020.
        Remember when (most of the past 8 months) science told us that schools need to be shut down to in school learning?
        Well, only 2 days ago the wonderful doctors announced that schools need to open for in door learning, as staying at home glued to a computer screen is more a negative than being in school.
        Science is great, but it is a changing – like the times we live in.

        • KAB says:

          Agreed, clearly there is a sharp learning curve with Covid…. but what on earth is wrong with urging caution to those who are more vulnerable?
          Is it really necessary to be snide about people’s lives being on the line?

          • babrarus says:

            No one is being snide.
            It’s just that the science changes, and what is allowed and not allowed changes as well, which kind of makes one think twice about the science of the day and the orders being given and changed by the day, the week, the month.
            It’s not all black and white. There’s a large gray area in between.

        • EdNY says:

          Fauci’s early advice is being mischaracterized. It was at a time when masks were in short supply and needed to be sent to health care facilities. And as more is learned about this disease, the information and recommendations get better.

        • Mike Ramone says:

          That wasn’t science. It was lying … so health care workers wouldn’t run out. And this latest advisory is lying too ,,, to keep as many people out of the hospital as possible.

          Recent studies say the risk of contracting Covid when you’re outdoors wearing a mask is a fraction of the risk of being indoors. Other recent studies found that most of the current NYC spike is caused by indoor gatherings, not trips outside.

          The result of this advisory varies depending on the person reading it. The sudden lack of outdoor exercise will impair their immune systems of the active seniors who follow this advice, and likely lead to depression, also not great for the immune system.

          For active seniors like me, who choose to believe the many recent scientific studies that indicate there’s a really low risk of walking outside as long as I social distance and wear a mask, the effect of reading this advisory is to lose trust in DeBlasio’s health department.

          I’m capable of reading and understanding medical studies. But the many people who are disinclined to do so need an honest and reliable department of health advising them. I think this advisory has done a serious disservice to New York City’s healthy, active seniors.

    4. Crazy person with questions no one is allowed to ask says:

      What is a covid case? Clinically speaking, a case is supposed to mean symptomatic plus positive test. Is this what all of these cases are? What is the actual risk associated with asymptonatic spread?

      • Karin says:

        A case is a positive test, regardless of symptoms. A presumed case is symptoms prior to a test being administered. As far as test and trace in the city is concerned, both positive test and presumed positives are given the same guidance. A contact is someone who has been in contact with a case or presumed positive and they are also asked to quarantine and get tested.
        Most spread is asymptomatic-generally 48 hours prior to symptoms is when the risk of spread is the highest. That is why it’s so difficult to capture the spread without pretty extreme measures when the rate is increasing.

        • MAD says:

          Just wondering on what you base your reply, Karin. I think some doctors might differ with you in re the definition of a “positive case.” Also, there is a lot of disagreement on the definition of “positive” when it comes to the rapid-response tests. Just basing this on various articles I’ve read. I don’t mean to be cynical, but perhaps you can share your medical background so we know the source of your statement. Thank you.

          • Karin says:

            I’m a supervisor for contact investigations in the NYC. I do have a medical background, but what I’m presenting here is the NYS and NYC definitions of cases.
            My team’s queue had 4000 new clients from NYC at 9am this AM. It’s just about 9pm and I’m just now able to look away from our work trying to protect the city, so excuse the late response.
            We’ve been working 12 hour days managing sick, infected people since May, trying to keep them safe and away from harming others. I’m much to tired to argue semantics with you or anyone else.

      • LivesOnUWS says:

        Simple… The number of cases can be extrapolated into needed hospital stays. Hospitals become overwhelmed. Not enough people or equipment to save all the folks that will need advanced care.

    5. PTFLynn says:

      You NYers are lucky to be given the advice “to protect yourself” and “limit activities”. Here in FL, even with some mayors begging people to wear masks, the governor attempts to cripple those efforts, every chance he gets. Pathetic.

    6. Darlene says:

      Really? I personally don’t need a city official or a politician ( tho they all mean well) to tell me what to do…I’m a senior ,I lived thru the last 6 mos…so I base my decisions on past experience, science, common sense and knowledge of orange,yellow,red zones..as should everyone in this city..gloves on subway double masks, etc..protect ur selves people…no one else will..and agin I don’t mean to minimize what we are being advised to do.