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De Blasio: NYC COVID rate is ‘worrisome’



De Blasio: NYC COVID rate is ‘worrisome’

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the city’s latest COVID-19 numbers “worrisome” in a briefing on Thursday.

City officials say that the percentage of New Yorkers testing positive for COVID-19 has risen to just under three percent, with the threshold set by the Department of Health at five percent.

Officials are also watching the number of newly reported cases of COVID-19. As of Thursday morning, the number stands at 532 against a threshold of 550.

The number of people hospitalized daily in the city is 81.

“We have to double down on what to do and all the things we’ve done right,” de Blasio said. “We have to be passionate about it because we cannot let a second wave happen here.”

While progress has been made in some of the neighborhoods seeing upticks, there are still clusters that remain problematic.

Health officials are encouraging New Yorkers to stay vigilant about face coverings, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings. They are also discouraging travel during the approaching holiday season, as scores of cities are dealing with surges in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and around the world.

“This is a trend that you’re seeing everywhere else in the world and I just want to flag major cities in Europe, our sister cities, are now going back to severe restrictions. They’re effectively returning to pause,” said Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Jay Varma.

However, local officials say not returning to pause is the priority.

Mayor de Blasio has said he will close schools if the seven-day rolling average goes above three percent. As of Thursday, that number is 1.92.

There is also concern over the impact the increase in cases could have on New York City’s restaurant industry, in particular indoor dining, which just returned three weeks ago.

Officials say gatherings continue to play a role in increases. As for Halloween this weekend, they are asking New Yorkers to trick-or-treat responsibly.