NEW YORK - A surge in COVID cases has pushed New York City health officials to raise the risk alert level. The city has entered the Medium risk alert level. Cases have now surpassed a rate of 200 per 100,000 people in the five boroughs.
"As a practical matter, what this means for New Yorkers is that they must exercise even greater caution than they have the last few weeks. If you are at a higher risk for severe disease due to age, underlying health conditions or because you are unvaccinated, consider additional precautions such as avoiding crowded indoor gatherings," Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in a statement.
The city is recommending that people avoid crowded indoor gatherings and to wear a mask in public indoor settings.
Mayor Eric Adams has said he wasn't ready yet to reinstate an indoor mask mandate.
The city created a four-tiered alert system to track the threat of COVID, using red, orange, yellow, and green to help explain what New Yorkers should do to stay safe. Medium is yellow on the system.
"The numbers are going up. So be smart, get your vaccination get boosted," Gov. Kathy Hochul said last month. "And when you need to be around a lot of people and you're more comfortable doing this then certainly wear a mask."
The city reminds people to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
It also issued the following recommendations:
• Wear a face mask in public indoor settings where vaccine status is not known.
• Get tested if you have symptoms, were exposed, traveled or were at a large event.
• Stay home if sick.
• If you are unvaccinated or are at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness, or if working, living or interacting with high-risk individuals, take additional precautions (for example, avoid crowded indoor and outdoor settings).