As COVID Cases Rise, One Politician Suggests Bringing Restrictions Back

As COVID cases have been on the rise due to the spreading Delta variant, one politician is suggesting we revert to previously established mandates to keep things under control.

District 7 Councilmember Mark Levine continued to state that “The rule of thumb should be: in indoor settings where there’s no screening for vax/test status, everyone should wear a mask. This must include vax’d because there’s a very small chance they can still receive/transmit, & because we need mask solidarity. Otherwise it doesn’t work.”

Levine cited “…highly vax’d places where delta has taken over (UK, SF, etc) [and] hospitalizations started to rise a few weeks after the rise in cases. This is likely to happen soon in NYC too. This is overwhelmingly driven by unvax’d people succumbing to a variant which is incredibly contagious.”

Mixed reactions swiftly followed the Council Member’s arguments.

The New York Times reported on July 14 that recent days have seen upwards of 400 new cases, double the numbers from a few weeks back, and that the test positivity rate has also doubled. The Times article states that while medical experts find the increase concerning, the consensus seems to be that, with over 60% of NYC adults fully vaccinated, a new wave is unlikely to outpace those of the pandemic’s peak.

In a July 15 email from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the BP responded to the Times writeup by saying it “sort of buries the significance of what is now starting to happen in the city,” continuing to state that “Experts quoted in the story describe themselves as ‘concerned’ rather than panicked, because they believe that the vaccines are doing what they were designed to do: prevent serious, hospital-worthy illness. But just because someone isn’t hospitalized doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting. And those who are not getting vaccinated are not just acting against their own self-interest– each of those individual decisions are creating an environment that’s dangerous to us all.”

Patch reported on July 13 that the Upper East Side’s positive test rate that week was close to 1% in three UES zip codes, more than double the rate from one month prior.

Patch further broke down the current vaccination numbers by zip code, showing the Upper East Side to be one of the most vaccinated neighborhoods in NYC:

  • 10021: 71% first dose received, 68% fully vaccinated
  • 10028: 70% first dose received, 67% fully vaccinated
  • 10065: 77% first dose received, 73% fully vaccinated
  • 10075/10162: 85% first dose received, 80% fully vaccinated
  • 10128: 73% first dose received, 70% fully vaccinated

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