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Mayor Adams isolating after positive COVID test; NYC health commissioner offers guidance amid rising cases

Mayor Adams working from home with COVID 02:34

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams' COVID diagnosis has put the spotlight on a new surge in the disease in the Big Apple. Hospitalizations are starting to tick up, there are new hospital visitation rules, and with Passover and Easter celebrations this weekend the health commissioner is advising New Yorkers to take new precautions.

Dr. Ashwin Vasan said Adams took all the right steps when he started feeling ill, but with lots of holidays, sporting events, and concerts coming up, he wants to make sure all New Yorkers do the right thing, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Monday.

"We are going to see a significant rise in cases. The good news is, and I want to reassure New Yorkers, this is about preparation, not panic. It's not about anxiety and worry," Vasan said.

It's not just Adams who has been felled by COVID-19. New York City has seen a dramatic rise in case over the last several weeks, so much so that that Dr. Vasan said he expects the city's COVID alert level to be raised next week, from low to medium, from green to yellow, which means a recommendation that people mask up indoors.

The daily infection rate has risen from 760 on March 8 to 1,862 on April 5. The city's seven-day infection rate has also risen -- it was 4.19 percent in Manhattan on Sunday. It was in the 1 percent range after the last Omicron surge.

"Just to give you a data point, Marcia, we're starting to see a small uptick in hospitalizations as well, and almost entirely those are people who are unvaccinated," Vasan said.

Health officials say that hospitalization rates are slower to show an uptick than infection rates, which may be why the increase has city hospital officials announcing new visitation policies.

All visitors must now show proof of up-to-date vaccinations, or have a negative COVID test within 48 hours. Patients are allowed no more than two visitors at a time.

Fears grow over another rise in COVID cases in Tri-State Area 02:47

The uptick is being caused by the latest Omicron subvariant, which is highly contagious, and a cause of much concern as families gather this weekend to celebrate Easter and Passover.

"People are going to be meeting with their families. What's your recommendation?" Kramer asked.

"If you know you're gonna have family coming in, particularly if you have family coming in from out of town, or family you don't see that often, and you're not sure of their exposures, get tested," Vasan said. "Make sure that you're negative when you walk into your family gathering, and then, of course, get tested in the following days to make sure that you weren't exposed."

"How many days should you wait to get the second test?" Kramer asked.

"Generally, after you've been exposed we'd love for people to get tested within the first 24 to 48 hours," Vasan replied.

"And would it show up then?" Kramer asked.

"It should and if doesn't, I think keep getting tested on a regular basis. Obviously, if you don't have symptoms, that's really encouraging," Vasan said.

The city's top medical expert offered more advice, like wearing a mask in your work place, especially if you're talking to people, and to mask up at indoor concerts and sporting events.

Getting COVID certainly hasn't scared the mayor. He's planning to give his annual budget address in two weeks at the historic King Theater in Brooklyn. Thousands are expected to be invited.


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