Public Advocate Jumaane Williams tests positive for COVID-19


NEW YORK — New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams tested positive for COVID-19, he said in a statement Thursday nught.

Williams said he is mildly symptomatic and is isolating.

A recent spike in COVID-19 cases, along with the new omicron variant and the holiday plans for millions of travelers, lines again stretch around blocks at COVID-19 testing sites across the city.

Williams has been public advocate since 2019 and was re-elected this fall. In November, he announced his bid for New York governor in 2022.

He released the following statement:

“Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19, along with thousands of other New Yorkers as the next wave of the virus rises in our city and state. I have mild symptoms and am quarantining at home away from my pregnant wife, who has tested negative. I know that isolation is a privilege not everyone has, and I’m grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted. 

“The recent spike in COVID-19 cases across New York is urgent and alarming, and this is a time to take precautions that can prevent both a deadly surge and the need for more restrictive measures. Government should take the lead by immediately transitioning to remote work whenever possible. As long lines form at testing sites, it’s vital that we restore expanded testing infrastructure and empower New Yorkers across the state to test themselves by providing home testing kits. I am grateful the city has taken this step, and I urge the state to replicate and expand on it by directly sending tests to households. In addition to strengthening mask protocols, the state must also adopt the city’s policy of vaccine screenings for indoor venues, which has been extremely successful and should already have been expanded by this point. 

“I know that this moment is distressing, but we are not in March of 2020 – we have the knowledge and the tools to protect ourselves and our communities that we didn’t back then. We just need to learn the lessons of the failures at that time, and prevent them from recurring now.”

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