NEW YORK (PIX11) — COVID-19 transmission rates are up again in New York City, with an average of 6.57% of New Yorkers — 2,885 people — testing positive daily over the last seven days, according to New York City Department of Health data posted Friday.
That’s a more than 378% increase from March 6 — just two months ago. The average in early March was 603 new cases a day.
The last time New York City had an average approaching 3,000 daily cases was in early February, after an omicron-related spike that peaked in mid-January. Omicron subvariants are fueling the latest uptick.
The city Health Department raised its COVID transmission alert level to “medium” on Monday in response to the uptick in cases across the five boroughs. The medium COVID alert level is the second-lowest out of four levels, below “high” and “very high.” The levels are also color-coded. Green signifies low level, yellow is medium, orange is high and red is very high.
“Cases have now surpassed a rate of 200 per 100,000 people in the five boroughs. As a practical matter, what this means for New Yorkers is that they must exercise even greater caution than they have the last few weeks,” Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in a statement Monday.
The citywide seven-day transmission rate shows 242.2 new cases per 100,000 city residents; that number represents data taken through Tuesday. Manhattan has the highest rate at 328.48, while the Bronx has the lowest (140.18).
Three zip codes on the Upper West Side — encompassing Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights and Lincoln Square — accounted for 704 new cases in the borough. Williamsburg had the highest amount of residents reporting positive tests outside of Manhattan, with 232 cases total.
Case numbers do not include home tests that were unreported. Those who test positive at home are advised to call the city’s Test and Trace Corps at 212-COVID19. However, in January, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine noted those workers are “overwhelmed.”
“There can be waits of an hour or two just to get through and it’s just not practical,” Levine said. He suggested a self-reporting web portal to make counting cases easier.
Vasan recommended that everyone should wear a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.