“Let’s be clear on this—we are winning, we are going to win because we’re resilient.” the mayor stated at a press conference at the City Hall.
Mayor Eric Adams declared on Tuesday, Jan. 18, that New York City was winning the battle against the Omicron virus outbreak, saying that, while the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations remains high, they have begun to decline.
In his third week in office, Adams, a Democrat, observed a decline in the average daily number of cases documented from more than 40,000 to fewer than 20,000, as well as a drop in hospitalizations from more than 6,500 on Jan. 11 to roughly 5,800 on Jan. 16.
During the coronavirus’s deadly initial wave in the spring of 2020, many instances were undiscovered due to a lack of testing. New fatalities, a lagging indicator, have been on the rise, averaging around 100 per day recently, the highest level since May 2020.
Although a wave of Omicron cases is cresting in the northeast, the number of virus patients nationally is at an all-time high and rising, overwhelming hospitals whose staffs have been decimated by the virus. The US surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, warned on Sunday that the Omicron surge had not yet crested nationally and that the coming weeks will be challenging in many parts of the country as hospitalizations and deaths increased.
“The challenge is that the entire country is not moving at the same pace,” he said.
Gov. Kathy Hochul touted the state’s lower case and hospitalization rates in her inaugural budget address on Tuesday. She said the statewide viral positive rate has dropped to 12.8%, approximately half of what it was on January 2. “We hope to close the books on this winter surge soon,” she said.
Following a period of extended absenteeism earlier this month, Adams was glad to see more children return to class. On Friday, more than 75% of students attended class, up from 67% on the first day back after the winter vacation.
Adams claims that the city has already distributed 4.5 million quick at-home tests to students. As a result of these tests, 25,000 cases have been discovered. Adams recommended that schools explore remote learning last week.
New Yorkers should continue to get vaccinated and use masks, Adams advised. In terms of immunizations, Adams announced that the city had hit a new high of 16 million doses administered, including 2.5 million booster doses. However, the mayor stated that New York was still “nowhere near where we need to be” in terms of vaccination.
According to city data, 74% of all New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, but only 47% of children aged 5 to 17 are.