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NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City’s “COVID alert level” rose from “low” to “medium” on Monday amid an uptick in cases around the five boroughs, Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan announced.

“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,” Vasan said in a statement.

New Yorkers who are at a higher risk for severe illness, such as people with underlying health conditions or those who are unvaccinated, should consider taking extra safety precautions, including avoiding large indoor crowds. Vasan recommended that everyone should wear a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.

Additional steps New Yorkers can take to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19 include getting tested before attending gatherings and getting a booster shot if you’re eligible, per the Health Department. Anyone who tests postive should call their doctor or 212-COVID19 to get evaluated for treatment.

“Vaccination and boosters are as critical as ever. If you’re eligible for your booster, please, get the dose now,” Vasan said in the statement. “The coming weeks will be critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and getting back to a low risk level so we can more safely enjoy our spring.”

Mayor Eric Adams introduced the new COVID alert level system in March. The system is designed to let New Yorkers know what levels of precautions they should be taking. Each level has a set of recommended government actions.

Medium COVID alert level recommendations include:

  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines: Get vaccinated and boosted.
  • Wear a face mask in public indoor settings where vaccine status is not known.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms, were exposed, traveled or were at a large event.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • If you are unvaccinated or are at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness, or if working, living or interacting with high-risk individuals, take additional precautions (for example, avoid crowded indoor and outdoor settings).

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.

This story comprises reporting from PIX11’s Aliza Chasan.