New York City Experiences Another COVID Wave
COVID-19 transmission rates continue to increase yet again in New York City. According to the city data presented by the health care officials, the positive cases have increased across all boroughs by 14% and eclipsed 20% in some parts of Staten Island, Southern Brooklyn, Queens, upper Manhattan, and eastern Bronx.
The Omicron’s BA.5 subvariant, a mutated version of the omicron strain, has become the dominant COVID-19 strain and it is currently accountable for half of all cases nationwide.
Although it is not as deadly as past strains, it is more contagious and notably more resistant to vaccines.
New symptoms of the BA.5 variant include stiff neck and back pain in addition to the traditional symptoms of fatigue, fever, runny nose, and persistent cough.
Dr. Purvi Parikh, NYU Langone Immunologist, said “We are seeing more cases of re-infection, we are also seeing the need sometimes for multiple rounds of Paxlovid or other treatments… so you know it is concerning, we have to keep an eye on it.”
The death rates have remained low, although Wednesday, July 6th saw 14 reported COVID-19 deaths, and Thursday, July 7th had 22 deaths reported by the New York State.
The BA.5 variant has increased hospital admissions all over the world. It continues to find ways to attack the immune systems of vaccinated individuals.
This aspect of reinfections regardless of vaccination status poses a risk of people getting infected multiple times and increasing transmission rates amongst vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.
Dr. Jay Varma, the former public health advisor for City Hall, voiced concerns saying this variant poses a huge threat to the immune system.
On a Fox 5 broadcast, Dr. Varma said, “This is a big concern. Right now, we, as humans, are playing catch up with the virus.
By the time we are able to come up with a new defense against it, the virus is coming up with a new offense. But here is the good news, what we’ve seen with the vaccines is that the more doses that you get, the broader your immune response is.”
Still on New York City COVID wave…
The city intends on launching three “Test-to-Treat” vans across the city during July, however, they will be closing down seven brick-and-mortar sites.
An NYC Health and Hospitals statement said, “At-home test distribution dramatically expands the number of sites available for New Yorkers to get tested, ensuring fast, flexible, no-cost COVID-19 testing.”
As of July 7th, COVID-19 cases in New York City have increased by a whopping 14% which, according to health officials, is the highest level reached since the beginning of 2022.
Mayor Eric Adams announced that he is keeping track of the hospital capacity and the recorded deaths due to the virus. He added that “The color-coded system was not fitting the new wave and the new variant, as COVID continued to shift”
At-home testing has been made available for all senior New Yorkers above the age of 65. Pre-registering is now possible for New Yorkers who wish to visit a specific location to pick up an at-home rapid testing kit.
At least 1 kit per person is recommended. It is still advised that individuals wear a mask when in a healthcare setting and a public setting regardless of vaccination status.