In the United States, New York City raised the COVID alert level to high on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after warning of the possibility, as a fifth wave pandemic followed by the most contagious sub-variants of COVID yet take control measures in the metropolitan area and the nation.

Since May 2, all five boroughs had been in a “medium” COVID alert status after passing a critical infection rate threshold: 200 new daily cases per 100,000 residents over a consistent seven-day period. The upgrade to “high” alert status means the COVID hospitalization rate has also hit a key benchmark: 10 new admissions per 100,000 residents on a consistent basis. Both are based on current community guidelines from the CDC.

At the time health agents reported the change to medium alert, the moving rate of hospitalizations was 6.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the moving rate of new cases was 218.22. Both rates have been steadily increasing from — to 10.2 and 308.51.

By county, Staten Island (396.73) and Manhattan (352.43) are seeing increases in cases, and Queens (340.35), Brooklyn (293.53) and the Bronx (204.84) ​​the rates of new cases are lower, but increasing compared to days before. for every 100,000 inhabitants.

In cases of hospitalizations; Queens’ Bayside and Manhattan zip codes from Hell’s Kitchen to the Upper East Side and Greenwich Village are experiencing relatively high hospitalization rates.

The Bronx’s Hunts Point ZIP code currently has the highest mobile rate at 50.1 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, city reports reported by The USA Herald show, even though the borough still has the highest transmission rate. down town.

A good portion of hospital admissions labeled COVID-19 involve people who were not admitted for that reason primarily, meaning their diagnoses may never have been detected had they not sought treatment for another unrelated cause.

More than 52.5% of the population hospitalized with COVID did not have the diagnosis included as a reason for admission, according to rates provided to The Usa Herald . In New York, the rate is higher at 56.7%, implying that COVID infections in more than half of hospitalized patients may have gone undetected had nothing else warranted medical attention, they say. experts, is good news in reference to gravity.

It’s time to go back to the protocol that works again to deal with the scenario. New York Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said, “Now is the time to double down on protecting ourselves and others by making choices that can keep our friends, neighbors, family members and co-workers from getting sick.”

“As a city, we have the tools to mitigate the impact of this wave, including distributing tests, masks and promoting treatments,” he added. “Getting back to Low Risk depends on everyone doing their part, and if we follow the guidance, our forecasts are that the peak of this wave won’t last long. What we do now can make a difference.”

Tuesday’s change marks the second time this month, and the second time the city has updated its COVID alert status, though it only debuted as part of Mayor Eric Adams’ overall pandemic plan when he took office earlier this year. .

The change does not automatically trigger any new COVID mandates. Those would be considered only if the alert level reached “very high,” which is the highest of the four levels, health officials say.

The health department issued a new mask advisory Monday, even before the official shift to a high COVID alert level, urging all New Yorkers to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status for the time being.

Specifically, residents are asked to wear high-quality face masks, such as KN95 and KF94 masks and N95 respirators, when indoors and in public places, including in supermarkets, building lobbies, offices, stores, and other shared spaces where people can interact.

Health officials say there is a special urgency around face coverings for people who are at high risk of severe illness and death from COVID, meaning those who are over 65 or unvaccinated.

Anyone who is ineligible for vaccination due to age or any other reason is urged to avoid crowded settings and non-essential gatherings, especially indoors.

The developments come as each of New York state’s 62 counties is poised to be deemed at high or medium community level COVID risk by the CDC in the agency’s next update. That should come Tuesday night.

In recent days, the Bronx had been the only county considered low risk by the CDC, but with a transmission rate that exceeds 200 new cases per 100,000 residents per day, according to The Usa Herald.

Ultimately, experts and public health officials agree that the infection rate alone means far less than trends in hospitalization and death.

Despite the modest increase in pressure hospitals are experiencing due to this latest wave, the burden is light compared to that imposed earlier this year, during omicron’s peak in January. It’s an even smaller fraction than the one that threatened to disrupt the entire state health care system, and that of the United States, last April 2020.

Daily deaths, the other most critical COVID metric from a public health perspective, have been largely flat, if not in steady decline. That, in part, is a product of high vaccination rates and community-based COVID tools, from face coverings to communication, testing, and treatment options like Paxlovid that you can use from home.

The move to high COVID alert status, health officials say, is an aggressive and precautionary effort to ensure a scenario similar to April 2020 does not happen again in New York City.

Treatments are available through same-day delivery, so talk to your doctor if you test positive or call (212) COVID-19 if you don’t have a provider. Learn more about the next federal round of free COVID tests (every household gets up to eight).

For the time being it remains the same: get well if you haven’t, stay home if sick, test continuously and wear face masks in crowded settings, especially if you are more prone to COVID infection or complications from the disease, officials say.

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