People cross a avenue earlier than visitors in New York on December 20, 2021.
Ed Jones | AFP | Getty Images
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday mentioned New York City is experiencing a fast surge of omicron infections, but he expects the wave to peak in a matter of weeks.
“It’s going to be a very challenging few weeks. But the good news is based on what our healthcare leadership understands, at this moment, we are talking about a matter of weeks,” De Blasio advised the general public throughout a Covid replace on Monday.
Average every day case counts in New York City greater than doubled over the week ending Friday Dec. 17, in accordance to the newest information accessible on the the town’s health department website. New York is reporting a seven-day common of greater than 7,200 instances per day, up from about 3,200 the week prior, a 127% improve.
However, de Blasio mentioned individuals contaminated with omicron in New York are experiencing gentle signs thus far, although he famous there stay many unanswered questions and scientists are nonetheless doing analysis to decide how sick individuals can turn into after contracting the variant.
“We’re going to see a really fast upsurge in cases, we’re going to see a lot of New Yorkers affected by omicron,” De Blasio mentioned. “So far, thank God based on everything we’ve seen, the cases are more mild than what we’ve experienced previously.”
However, epidemiologists and infectious illness consultants have cautioned that even when omicron proves extra gentle than the predominant delta variant, it might nonetheless trigger a serious spike in hospitalizations and deaths just because it spreads so quick, placing pressure on some health-care methods.
De Blasio emphasised the significance of vaccination to shield in opposition to omicron. The mayor mentioned his vaccine mandate for personal companies is vital to avoiding the shutdowns that devastated New York City’s economic system in 2020.
“We’ve got to defeat Omicron, we got to avoid shutdowns, we got to avoid restrictions, we got to keep moving forward — vaccination is the key,” De Blasio mentioned. Nearly 80% of New York City residents have obtained at the least one dose of a vaccine, whereas 71% of the inhabitants is totally vaccinated.
De Blasio mentioned his administration is working with the White House and the non-public sector to deal with a scarcity of at-home testing kits at pharmacies. The mayor mentioned the town can even open 23 further testing websites this week for a complete of 112 city-run areas throughout all 5 boroughs.
“We’re finding the supplies are becoming a challenge because all over the country testing is going up suddenly and we’re seeing a supply problem that needs to be addressed,” De Blasio mentioned.
Officials with the World Health Organization have mentioned omicron is extra contagious than any earlier variant of Covid-19. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mentioned final week’s estimates put omicron at 13% of all instances in New York and New Jersey. Omicron accounted for about 3% of U.S. Covid instances nationwide, in accordance to the CDC.
Omicron has considerably weakened the ability of two-dose vaccines to keep off an infection, but a booster shot considerably will increase safety in opposition to the variant. A 3rd shot of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine gives 70% safety in opposition to symptomatic illness, in accordance to a real-world research from the U.Okay. Health Security Agency.
The unique two-dose vaccination sequence, alternatively, provides solely 33% safety in opposition to an infection, but nonetheless gives 70% safety in opposition to hospitalization, in accordance to real-world information from South Africa’s largest well being insurer, Discovery Health.