NEW YORK - The highly contagious omicron subvariant known as BA.2 is fueling a fresh increase in COVID cases in New York City, with the Health Department saying that it now makes up the majority of COVID cases in the five boroughs, accounting for 85% of new infections.
However, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine was on the streets Thursday, handing out at-home tests, hand sanitizer, and instructions on how to get anti-viral drugs as part of an effort to remind New Yorkers that there is no need to panic but to be cautious.
"We are seeing a rise in cases in New York City, this is not a cause for panic but it is cause to stay cautious," Levine said. "We want people to continue to get their vaccines and boosters if they haven't, we want them to get a test if they have symptoms, we want them to wear a mask in crowded indoor settings."
Manhattan was recently moved from a low green to a medium-yellow COVID alert level.
The uptick has once again forced several Broadway shows to cancel performances.
The show "Plaza Suite" canceled performances after Matthew Broderick tested positive for COVID-19 and a few days later his wife and co-star, Sarah Jessica Parker, did so herself.
What happens with future performances "will be announced as soon as possible," according to producers.
The show had kept going despite Broderick's absence on Tuesday with an understudy, but with neither star — who play three couples over three acts in a hotel suite — available, producers had little options.
The musical "A Strange Loop" canceled its first preview performance after COVID-19 cases were discovered within the company and the off-Broadway musical "Suffs" has been derailed. Daniel Craig has also been sidelined from his revival of "Macbeth."
Meanwhile, termination letters went out Thursday to 103 New York State court employees for not complying with the vaccine mandate.
A court spokesperson told FOX 5 NY that one person has chosen to resign while 11 others have submitted their paperwork for retirement.
Four judges also received written warnings and continue to be barred from entering any court facility and must work from home.
With the Associated Press.