NEW YORK - "New York City is ready, we need you to be ready too."
De Blasio announced that New York City was reporting another 5,731 positive COVID-19 tests and that he was expecting to see the omicron variant drive a continuing surge in cases over the next few weeks before fading away.
"A really, really shocking figure and one that will keep growing undoubtedly," de Blasio said.
Later on Sunday, New York broke its own record for a third straight day, reporting 22,478 positive COVID tests in a single day.
"This is not March of 2020. We are not defenseless," Hochul tweeted. "People across the state are doing the right thing by getting vaccinated, getting boosted, and wearing their masks. Do your part to keep your neighbors safe. Get your vaccine or booster today."
"We expect omicron to be a fast and temporary phenomenon," de Blasio said. "We expect these next weeks to see a very, very big surge in cases."
"Vaccination remains vital, even against omicron," said Dr. Dave Chokshi New York City's health commissioner. "Get your booster right now."
According to the latest data from the city's Health Department, just over 70% of the city's residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. About 90% of adults and about 80% of all residents have received at least one vaccine dose.
De Blasio also said the city was going to "double down" on vaccination mandate enforcement. The city will also be significantly increasing testing capacity, distributing high-quality masks across the city, and distributing more at-home tests at high-volume sites.
The mayor and health officials announced Thursday the city would give out 1 million free N95 masks and 500,000 free at-home tests, to be distributed through community organizations. On Sunday they said eight new fixed-site testing sites and 17 new mobile units would be opened by this week, bringing the city's totals to 36 fixed sites and 93 mobile units, with more anticipated.
City health officials also said that New Yorkers who are over the age of 65 or are immunocompromised should rethink attending large gatherings over the next few weeks, while Dr. Chokshi advised planning holiday celebrations around the most vulnerable person in any group.
The omicron surge has hit the entertainment industry in New York City hard, forcing as many as 10 Broadway shows to suspend performances due to positive COVID tests and causing Saturday Night Live to shoot their holiday episode without an audience, musical guest, or most of the cast and crew.
De Blasio also said that a decision would be made by Christmas about whether this year's Times Square New Year's Eve celebration would be held as usual.
"This is an all vaccination event, and it is outdoors and those are two very, very important, favorable factors," de Blasio said.