A line for Covid testing this week at 72nd and Broadway. Photo by Alan Pesetsky.
A sudden spike in Covid cases, likely caused by the Omicron variant, is sweeping through New York City. And once again, long lines are stretching around the block at testing centers — from urgent care centers to mobile testing units.
The number of new cases reported statewide on Thursday alone — 18,276, more than 8,300 of them in New York City — appears to be the most new cases ever recorded in a single day for New York City, and was the highest total statewide since the winter surge last January.
— Sharon Otterman (@sharonNYT) December 16, 2021
The Omicron variant appears to be much more transmissible than earlier versions, and it appears to evade some of the protection offered by vaccines (though vaccinated people are still considered much better-protected than the unvaccinated).
Council member Mark Levine says that the city will now keep all city-run testing sites open 7 days a week. And if testing site lines are too long, people waiting will be given the option of taking a self-test home.
Testing site locations (both city-run and otherwise) are available here, and the city says it will open more sites.
* 500k at-home test kits and 1M masks to be distributed via 150 community groups throughout city, starts Monday
* All City-run test site will now be open 7 days/week
* 5 new City-run brick & mortar sites to be opened.
— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) December 16, 2021
If you’re not vaxxed or boosted, now is the time to do it! Check out the Health Department’s links and advice below:
A fully vaccinated person is much less likely to get sick or spread the virus that causes COVID-19, especially if they have their booster shot. To find a vaccination site, visit nyc.gov/vaccinefinder or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).
Testing remains an important part of reducing the spread of COVID-19. If you are feeling ill, believe you have been exposed, or have recently traveled or attended a gathering, visit nyc.gov/covidtest, text “COVID TEST” to 855-48, or call 311 to find a testing site near you.
All individuals, regardless of vaccination status or past COVID-19 infection, should wear a mask at all times when indoors and in public settings. All masks should cover the nose and the mouth and rest snugly above the nose, below the mouth, and on the sides of the face. Higher quality masks, such as KN95s or KF94s, can offer an additional layer of protection.
If you are feeling sick you should stay home and leave only to seek appropriate care and testing. If you are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 infection, such as those with underlying health conditions, you should avoid crowded settings, particularly indoor gatherings. Gathering with others increases the risk of COVID-19, especially if not everyone is vaccinated.
I miss Governor Cuomo , he was doing excellent job about the pandemia !
His live conferences were helping so much !!!
We need him back !!!
Didn’t he cover up the numbers of how many elderly people died? He was only ever out for self, he reminds me of Kendall Roy trying to follow in his fathers footsteps and live up to his reputation regardless of his actions and their consequences. Good riddance to that predator.
Cuomo refused to let NYC shut down when DeBlasio wanted to, and made us wait until he deigned to authorize it himself. He CUT medicaid in the middle of a pandemic. And he put our oldest and most vulnerable at greater risk–with lethal results.
The man is an abuser, in his public and private life. Good riddance.
A couple of big reasons for the surge in testing is that lots of people are flying to destinations that require recent tests and those getting tested in an overabundance of caution because they are visiting older relatives that they could not visit last holiday season.
Then there are those that fear anything with covid in its name. The omicron has been shown to be contagious but also appears have mutated to cause nowhere near as severe illness as the original virus.
These viruses are out in the wild and will continue to mutate – don’t expect to be able to eradicate all strains of covid in our lifetime as we’ve been working on eradicating one form of covid, the common cold, for at least a century.
Best thing is to get yourself vaccinated, get a booster, get a flu shot and follow the science rather than the hysterics.
It’s not actually clear that Omicron is less dangerous; the groups getting infected at high rates in South Africa and the UK were disproportionately young, vaccinated, and previously infected, all of means they were more likely to experience mild symptoms.
Omicron is killing people, and we’re going to see our hospitals and morgues absolutely slammed, again.
A simple data point even the NYT leaves out during the current rise in the positive test results is total test given / day. 12/21 vs 01/21 vs 04/20.
Not that we shouldn’t take precautions, but it might calm the hysteria a bit with a more complete picture.
“A fully vaccinated person is … or spread the virus that causes COVID-19, especially if they have their booster shot.”
Source for this assertion?
Pretty much every medical professional agrees with the above statement that you are having trouble with.
Incorrect – fully vaccinated folks spread this variant just as much. This – Vaccination can no longer be called a community service to protect the more vulnerable. and instead serves only to protect the vaxxed person himself from severe symptoms (which is important also but obviously his choice)
“fully vaccinated folks spread this variant just as much.”
Just as much.
See how your side always takes an unquestionable observation and then adds a completely made-up assertion (read: alternative fact)?
What is your source for “just as much”?
then when sick, he should not rely on the care given in hospitals and leave the bed open for someone who did the right thing (vaccinated) and needs it due to a breakthrough infection. Or a child who is unable to get vaccinated
they don’t trust the advice from the healthcare community to get vaccinated, why should they benefit from the skills of the healthcare community when they get needlessly ill?
It’s all well and good to counsel masks indoors in public spaces. Motherhood and apple pie.
BUT: Last week I was in the lobby of 170 WEA where a man was chatting away on a phone without a mask. Doorman refused to intervene. And even WORSE – two New York City police officers entered the building WITHOUT MASKS. I give up.