‘We’ve never seen this before’

Groups of people line up to be tested for Covid-19 at Times Square on December 5, 2021 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | beautiful pictures

Jay Varma, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s top health adviser, tweeted Thursday.

“Um, we’ve never seen this before in #NYC,” he wrote.

Sensitivity rates are increasing as the omicron variation spreads. Based on CDC data released Wednesday, New York and New Jersey are the two states with the most rapid spread of this variant. The data showed that 13.1% of cases in the CDC area that includes New York and New Jersey were omicrons, compared with the national average of 2.9%.

“Omicron is here in New York City and it’s spreading rapidly,” Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, commissioner of the New York City health department, said at a news conference. news conference Thursday.

De Blasio and his health advisers at the briefing expressed concern ahead of the holiday season. Demand for testing has increased after a few major events, including last weekend’s SantaCon pub crawl event.

“We are seeing an increase before the holiday season,” Chokshi said. “I expect cases will continue to increase in the coming days,” he added.

This variant was first discovered in South Africa in late November and quickly spread around the world. In the UK, it’s now dominant tension and the country saw its highest daily number of new cases since the pandemic began on Wednesday.

From December 9 to December 12, the rate of positive tests in the city increased from 3.9% to 7.8%. “This is #SARS-CoV-2 Avoiding both the vaccine and the virus, Varma adds, causes immunity against infection unlike any previous variant.

However, he noted that about 67,000 PCR tests are performed in New York City each day, which is higher per capita than many other communities or cities across the nation. Additionally, city-reported data has a lag of about three days, meaning current positivity rates may be higher and previous days’ data may still be adjusted.

At Thursday’s press conference, de Blasio announced that the city will increase its testing capacity in the future. “That means the mobile sites we talked about, you’ll see more of them in all five counties, but we’ll also double that on the traditional sites.” own,” he said.

Hours and capacity at existing permanent locations will be expanded, de Blasio said, even as new locations are added.

However, the mayor stressed that vaccination is the best way to protect against omicron disease and serious illness. “Don’t wait, get boosters now,” he said. ‘We’ve never seen this before’

Emma James

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