COVID-19 cases are again rising across the city, especially in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn – but so far it is nowhere near the kind of increase the city experienced during the holiday season.
According to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the city’s 7-day positivity rate was up to 2.67% on April 1, with an average daily case total of 1,254. The increase was, however small compared to a week beforeas the 7-day positivity rate was 2.26% with a weekly average case total of around 906.
The increase can be attributed to the proliferation of the BA.2 subvariant of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, which is much more contagious but apparently not as potent.
The latest rise in infections caused Mayor Eric Adams on Friday delay by at least one week his planned interruption of the mask mandate for preschool students under 5 years of age throughout the city. No other preventive measures have yet been ordered to curb the spread, although this may change depending on the number of virus cases in the coming weeks.
A potentially promising sign is that the city-wide transmission rate has only grown slightly, not exponentially, in the past week – rising from 90.33 cases per year. 100,000 inhabitants on March 27 to 105.26 per. 100,000 on April 1st.
Manhattan continues to have the highest transmission rate of the five boroughs, at 193.04 per hour. 100,000. Brooklyn’s rate was nominally higher than the total city coverage, at 105.86 per. 100,000; the other three districts were below the city average.
Ten communities – six in Manhattan, four in Brooklyn – saw 100 or more new COVID-19 cases diagnosed between 23-29. March. East Williamsburg / Williamsburg (zip code 11211) topped the list with 153 new cases.
It was followed by the Manhattan Valley / Morningside Heights / Upper West Side (10025, 149 cases); Brooklyn Heights / DUMBO / Downtown Brooklyn (11201, 148 cases); Lincoln Square (10023, 129 cases); and Chinatown / Lower East Side (10002), Gowanus / Park Slope / Windsor Terrace (11215) and Clinton Hill / Prospect Heights (11238), each counting 116 new cases.
The Hunters Point section in Long Island City, Queens (11109) had the highest 7-day positivity rate in the five boroughs between 23-29. March at 7.88%, but only 19 new cases were detected during the period.
Three other communities in New York City had 7-day rates in excess of 7%, all of which were in Manhattan: Battery Park City (10282, 7.27%, 12 new cases); Hudson Square / Meatpacking District / West Village (10014, 7.26%, 58 new cases); and Hudson Square / Little Italy / SoHo / Tribeca (10013, 7.12%, 73 new cases).
The most encouraging statistic is that hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19 continue to decline even as cases tick upward. The total number of daily admissions in the city was down to 13 on April 1, while the total number of daily deaths was only four on the same day.
In fact, on March 29, the city’s health department so far counted no COVID-19 hospitalizations or deaths.
Vaccinations and the availability of new treatments and antiviral drugs continue to help save lives. However, the city is still lagging behind on boosters; only 36.6% of all New York City residents have received an extra dose of the vaccine.
Health experts have said that getting the booster helps increase a person’s chances of resisting COVID-19 infection or only experiencing mild symptoms if they get it. Furthermore, other booster shots are now recommended for people 50 years and older and those who are severely immunocompromised.
To find out where you can get a booster, visit vaccinefinder.nyc.gov.