(Bloomberg) — New York City appears to not match the convergence of the delta and omicron variables, despite having some of the toughest restrictions against Covid-19 and the highest vaccination rates in the United States.
At a time when the city was more crowded and empty offices began to fade away, the turmoil caused people to be nervous again. New cases of the virus have peaked since January.
Companies are asking workers to stay home, classrooms are closed and there are long queues at testing centers.
Broadway shows and restaurants are also closed with staff shortages and COVID-19 spreading across the city at the busiest time of the year for tourism.
We’ve never seen this in New York,” Jay Varma, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s public health advisor, said on Twitter. Positive tests double in three days.
In fact, 7.8% of the city’s cases tested positive on December 12, compared to 3.9% on December 9, according to city data.
Many of these cases are mild and hospitalizations and deaths are far from the level seen in the early days of the epidemic. But hospital admissions are also increasing rapidly and have more than doubled since the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.
Just a few weeks ago, Delta represented nearly every case in the New York area.
But omicron, which appears to be more susceptible than previous variants, grew rapidly to account for 13 percent of the region’s cases, according to an estimate by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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De Blasio, who has already required vaccinations to enter restaurants and tourist attractions and made them mandatory for city workers, is now expanding the order to private businesses from December 27.
Gov. Cathy Hochhol has begun requiring masks in all enclosed public spaces that do not require proof of vaccinations against Covid-19 and has ordered another million tests to be sent to communities in need.
New York state reported 18,276 new Covid cases as of December 15 – the third highest number on record – including 8,318 cases in New York City.
The impact is seen in the city’s public schools, the largest US system with nearly one million students. Between the start of classes and the end of November, three schools were closed and about 2,500 classrooms closed, according to data from the city’s Department of Education. The city closed six full schools and 4,200 classrooms.
Jefferies Financial Group, Citigroup and Bank of Montreal have asked employees to work from home. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was started. in ordering vaccinations upon entry to its Manhattan headquarters and moved its annual January health conference to the online form.
Broadway, which closed for 18 months and reopened only in September, canceled several shows this week due to Covid-19 cases, including “Hamilton,” “Tina” and “Mrs. Doubt Fire.”