Welcome to City Hall, Mayor Eric Adams, now about that Omicron variant. As New York City faces a surge of Covid-19 cases related to the Omicron variant the new mayor details his battle plan which looks to balance keeping the economy afloat while keeping the public safe. “We can’t shut down our city again. We can’t allow the city to go further into economic despair”, Adams said.
First and foremost the private sector vaccine mandate that took effect in the waning days of the de Blasio administration will remain in effect to start the year. The administration’s multifaceted plan will rely on vaccinations, hospital support, testing, treatment, slowing the spread, and enhancing school safety for students and staff. In terms of school safety, like the vaccine mandate, he will continue the de Blasio initiative to double in-school testing and increase reliance on at-home tests.
New York City will distribute another 2 million higher grade masks next month to places most in need, using community groups to deliver the equipment and the safety messages. Though careful not to take shots at the previous administration, Adams repeatedly mentioned the issues with messaging as well as heavy handed enforcement on small businesses. Adams also said he will introduce a new color-coded system to show the current level of virus threat. Each color will be associated with safety measures and Covid protocols that fit the threat, though full details on which metrics will be used to assess risk aren’t clear but seem to reflect the cluster zones former Governor Cuomo rolled out in the fall of 2020.
Other initiatives include reducing risk in shelters, nursing homes, and jails through rapid isolation and quarantine; increasing the number of testing sites; seeking more access to monoclonal antibodies and oral Covid pills, and focusing on equity and historically underserved communities.