“All indicators are saying we’re heading in the right direction: a rapid decline in cases. They remain high, but they clearly are declining,” Adams said at a briefing at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
Adams’s predecessor, former Mayor Bill de Blasio, put in place vaccination mandates for city workers, private sector employees and customers at indoor restaurants and entertainment venues — policies Adams credited with helping the city get through the surge.
As of this week 75 percent of all city residents are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. That includes 85 percent of adults and 76 percent of adolescents, but vaccinations of younger children have lagged: Only 36 percent of kids ages 5-12 are fully vaccinated.
The city has given 2.7 million booster shots, but has not calculated what percentage of New Yorkers have received their boosters.
Covid pill available
The city is now offering free delivery of a new antiviral pill to treat Covid-19. Patients who get a prescription for the pill from a doctor can have it delivered to their home the same day.
Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said he hoped the pill, in addition to vaccines, would prevent more people who contract the disease from being hospitalized or dying.
“You’ll hear a lot about living with Covid in the weeks ahead. But living with Covid cannot mean ignoring that too many continue to die from this virus,” he said.
Though the trend shows a clear decline, officials acknowledged the true number of Covid-19 cases may be higher because the city does not track people who test positive using rapid tests at home. Unlike some other cities, New York does not offer a way to report a positive home test.
“This has raised questions about the data with respect to our cases and surveillance,” Chokshi said, but added the city is still doing a high number of traditional lab tests.
Adams said there is no timeline for lifting the vaccine mandates that are now in place. “I’m going to go based on advice of my medical experts,” he said, adding that economic concerns would also factor “a lot” in the decision.
Adams was also greeted at Jacobi by a group of nurses concerned about their safety on the job after a shooting inside the hospital last week. They carried signs with messages such as, “We are not safe here,” and demanded changes like metal detectors and more mental health treatment.
The mayor said he would meet with the group on Zoom next week.
“I’m going to do my job, that’s my promise to you. But some of the things we need help from our feds and from the state.”