NYC hits 40,000 COVID deaths

New York City hit a sad milestone on Friday, reporting that over 40,000 New Yorkers have lost their lives to COVID-19 during the pandemic. 

According to the New York City Health Department, 40,022 people in the city have lost their lives to the pandemic. 

The tally is 10,000 more than a year ago, half of which came during the recent winter surge due to the omicron variant. 

Last week, New York City marked the second anniversary of the beginning of the pandemic. Since March 11, 2020, when just 38 Americans had died due to the coronavirus, 6 million people have died globally, with nearly 1 million dead in the U.S.

While the emergency of the vaccine has saved countless lives, political divisions, hesitancy and inequality in health systems have kept millions of people around the world from getting inoculated, prolonging the pandemic.

Even as the city continues to slowly return to normalcy, the coronavirus may not be done with us quite yet, as experts are beginning to sound the alarm of yet another variant, BA.2, a sublineage of the Omicron variant, will cause another major surge in cases. 

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"I would not be surprised if in the next few weeks we see somewhat of either a flattening of our diminution or maybe even an increase," Dr. Anthony Fauci told the ABC News podcast Start Here, ABC reported on Friday.

The winter surge driven by the omicron variant saw an astonishing number of infections in New York City. 1.1 million New Yorkers were infected with coronavirus during the winter surge, a number that represents half of all the cases recorded in the city throughout the entire pandemic.

Just 36.1% of New Yorkers have currently received a booster shot, despite eligibility having been open for months.