Urgent warning to New Yorkers aged 75 and over about spread of coronavirus

The New York City Health Commissioner has an urgent warning for all New Yorkers aged 75 and older and those who care for them to "take all the precautions you can" to protect against the coronavirus.

"The data we watch so closely is showing us alarming trends with cases and hospitalizations in adults over the age of 75," said Dr. David Chockshi during a briefing from City Hall. "Over the past 30 days, six percent of all cases are among those 75 and up. Thirty percent of hospitalizations and, most tragically, 58% of all deaths are in persons 75 and older."

"We've got to reach this population urgently. Urgently," added Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The mayor and the health commissioner called for the vaccination of elderly people to be allowed beginning immediately. Currently, only those in phase 1a including nursing home residents and staff, health care workers, some police and corrections officers are being offered the vaccine.

"This message is as urgent as it has ever been: avoid activities outside of the home except for essential purposes including medical care and other necessities. I am asking New Yorkers to remain vigilant. Don't let the numbers make you numb," said Dr. Chokshi.

 Half of all cases in those aged 75 and older are from community transmission.

Plans are in the works to roll out pre-registration options for seniors via phone and online, added de Blasio.

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