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NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio’s departure from City Hall will make way for Mayor-elect Eric Adams to take the reins of the nation’s largest city on Jan. 1.

While the transition has been seamless, according to both officials, Adams arrives amid a city still in crisis over COVID and a surge in cases.

In an effort to address these concerns before the new year, Adams held a briefing Thursday morning to share his administration’s tentative strategy plans for dealing with the virus in his first few months.

Adams said that vaccinations, booster shots and testing are the city’s strongest weapon in our arsenal against COVID, while also stressing that he believes the city must be able to continue functioning.

He said his plan will both keep New Yorkers safe and also keep the city open.

The incoming mayor’s plan is based around six main pillars, which were explained by Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi and other members of Adams’ administration.

The six pillars of the plan include: Vaccination, supporting hospitals and congregate settings, COVID testing, COVID treatment, slowing the spread of the virus, and keeping schools safe.


  • Vaccination
    • Mayor de Blasio’s current private sector vaccine mandate will remain in place for the beginning of the new year.
    • The city will decide by spring about a vaccine mandate for public schools.
  • Supporting hospitals and congregate settings
    • The city’s goal will be to resource the Health + Hospitals system to make sure they have needed staffing to handle any increase in patients in coming months.
  • Slowing the spread
    • The city will distribute an additional two million higher-grade masks (KN95, KF94 and N95) in January, particularly via community-based organizations and Health Department sites.
    • Our public health guidance and rules will be calibrated based upon the science, equity considerations, the advice of health experts and the virus’ threat to public health.
    • For public awareness and to manage COVID, the city will release a color-coded system that shows the level of virus threat and communicates clearly what level of safety measures are in place.
  • Safer schools
    • Includes the already announced expanded testing programs for city schools, which de Blasio, Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced earlier this week.
    • Double surveillance testing and adjust Situation Room and quarantine protocols.
    • Strengthen the mitigation measures, including higher quality masks and improved ventilation.
    • Adams said a decision on a vaccine mandate for public school students would come in the spring, possibly “sometime in April.”