NEW YORK NOW — The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that residents of 46 of New York’s 62 counties wear masks in indoor public places as omicron variants rise.
The state’s infection rate was 10.01% on Sunday, the last day numbers were available. Thirty people died of COVID-19 on May 15.
Despite the recommendations, the state’s health commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett, acknowledged that many people were not wearing masks.
“I can only assume people are sick of it, I’m sick of it,” Bassett said. “But the virus, unfortunately, does not get tired.”
The latest variant, omicron BA 2.12.1, generally does not make people very sick, especially in those who are already vaccinated and boosted. But the health commissioner said COVID-19 remains a serious disease and each new variant is increasingly transmissible and contagious.
About 12,000 New Yorkers have died from the omicron variant since Bassett became health commissioner in December.
“We shouldn’t consider it sweet,” she said. “That’s a lot of lives lost.”
Many New Yorkers are falling ill with COVID even after being vaccinated and given one or even two booster shots. Bassett said health officials believe the boosters continue to protect against serious illnesses that can lead to hospitalization and death.
The health commissioner also addressed the apparent unreliability of home testing. People who contract the virus sometimes test negative even if they have symptoms and do not test positive for several days.
She said one reason could be that those who are vaccinated or have had COVID in the past have antibodies that could react to the virus faster than tests can initially register it.
His advice: if you have symptoms, don’t go out in public where you could potentially infect others.
“If you are sick, you should stay home,” she said.
Bassett said the symptoms could also be due to the flu, which is currently on the rise in New York.
The health commissioner said there was positive news as spring progressed. Warmer weather will allow more social gatherings to be held outdoors and slow the spread of the virus.
But she said public health officials are bracing for “the likelihood” of another fall and winter surge, though they hope it won’t be as severe as omicron infection rates. last winter.