Mayor announces holiday health advisory to combat surge of COVID-19 cases

Health officials say the omicron variant is spreading quickly through the five boroughs and that it may soon overtake delta as the dominant variant.

News 12 Staff

Dec 16, 2021, 10:22 PM

Updated 850 days ago

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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new steps from the city in the fight against the coronavirus Thursday. 
The new protocols come as city data shows that COVID-19 cases are back on the rise with almost 3,000 positive cases confirmed in the last week–triple of what it was just a month ago. 
The mayor says the city will be increasing testing and creating new vaccination sites across the five boroughs. 
They also plan to give out 500,000 rapid at-home tests to New Yorkers for free, plus a total of million N95 masks. 
Health officials say the omicron variant is spreading quickly through the five boroughs and that it may soon overtake delta as the dominant variant. 
They say they are continuing to push all fully vaccinated New Yorkers who are 16 and older to get a booster shot. 
Another change expected to start on Friday is more inspections to make sure businesses are enforcing mandates–such as the state’s indoor mask requirement and the city’s indoor vaccine mandate. 
The latest mandate requires children ages 5 and up to also show proof of vaccination to enter most businesses–including theaters, gyms and restaurants in the city. 
The mayor and health officials say cases may continue to rise as people continue to travel and get together for the holidays. 
According to city data, New Yorkers who are unvaccinated are eight times more likely to get infected with COVID-19 and 13 times more likely to be hospitalized.


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