Covid Live Updates: Omicron News, Vaccines and More

Credit…Dave Sanders for the New York Times

After weeks of silence, Mayor-elect Eric Adams promised Thursday to keep New York City’s vaccine mandate for private sector employees. The requirement, enacted by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the first of its kind in the country, went into effect on Monday last week in office by Mr de Blasio.

“Our focus is on vaccines and tests, vaccines and tests, vaccines and tests,” said Adams before turning to Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, Mr de Blasio’s health officer, turned to the march.

“The private sector employer mandate will remain in place in the New Year, with an emphasis on compliance rather than punishment,” announced Dr. Chokshi on.

Epidemiologists welcomed the mandate, but the timing at the end of Mr de Blasio’s tenure created confusion among some business owners unsure whether to honor the mandate or just wait for Mr Adams to take office and announce his own policies gave . Some also view it as a bureaucratic headache and fear that some workers would rather quit than stick to it.

Mr Adams’ silence on the matter had also raised hopes among some business owners that he was planning to let the mandate expire.

But in the weeks since Mr de Blasio announced the policy on December 6, the Omicron variant has rioted through New York City, causing a sharp spike in coronavirus cases.

On Wednesday, the city broke a one-day fall record for the third time in a week, and a subway line connecting Queens and Manhattan was closed because so many transport workers called in sick. City life has slowed down in some ways. The Westminster Kennel Club postponed his dog show in January out of consideration for Omicron.

Omicron has infected hundreds of thousands of city dwellers. On Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that 39,591 people had tested positive in New York City the previous day. And that’s an undercount as it doesn’t include many home tests that came back positive but were never reported to health officials.

Across the city, the test positive rate is over 20 percent. Hospitals across the city are seeing hundreds of new Covid-19 patients every day, though many are far less sick than patients from previous waves of coronavirus, doctors and hospital systems say. As of Tuesday, the last day of reporting, there were almost 3,200 Covid-19 patients in New York hospitals. About 370 were in intensive care units.

Dr. Ashish K. Jha, the dean of Brown University School of Public Health, said Mr. Adams’ decision was a wise one.

“Vaccines remain the way we get out of this pandemic,” said Dr. Yeh. “And asking private and public employers to ensure that their employees are vaccinated – which creates a much safer work environment – I consider essential.”

Dr. Jha’s enthusiasm was not universal.

Mr de Blasio’s mandate, which is now Mr Adams’, has angered some in the business community, including large corporations, resented the prospect of having to meet President Biden’s mandate, which is in the limbo of the Supreme Court is located and an exam contains loophole for the unvaccinated and New York City which is not.

“For large companies with a global and national presence, consistency between federal guidelines and state and local guidelines on vaccination and masking requirements and Covid protocols in general is really important,” said Kathryn Wylde, managing director of the partnership for New York City. the many large corporations.

“And the de Blasio policy does not match the Biden policy in terms of time or technology.”