Brooklyn

As of Monday, January 31 the 7-day positivity rate for COVID-19 is 4.6% in Brooklyn, down from 7.5% last week and 12.5% two weeks ago. The figures show how rapidly the Omicron surge is subsiding, after causing widespread disruption over the holiday period.

Despite the good news, some neighborhoods in the borough are returning positive COVID-19 tests at rates almost twice borough average, including East New York’s 11239 ZIP code, where the 7-day positivity rate is 8.8%. However, that figure represents a large drop on last week, when the ZIP code’s positivity rates were at 16.59%

There have been 666,967 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brooklyn and more than 12,000 deaths, according to The City’s COVID-19 tracker.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, the second most common vaccine used in the country and the second to receive full approval.

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso has been hosting mask and COVID-19 test handouts across the borough over the past month. You can follow his Twitter account to see where he will be next.

Even as COVID-19 case loads are on the decline, a number of the borough’s hospitals are either at or reaching capacity in their ICU wards. Woodhull is reporting 98% capacity, down from 100% seven days ago; Interfaith Medical Center is at 95% also down from 100% a week ago; NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist is at 101%, up from 90% one week ago, Brookdale Hospital Medical Center is at 97% and Kings County Hospital Center is at 73%, according to The New York Times.

As of Jan. 3, 69% of eligible Brooklyn residents are fully vaccinated. To find a vaccination site near you, click here.

NYC

On Jan. 30 there were 6,291 new COVID-19 cases reported in NYC, down from 12,012 new cases just seven days earlier — a 78% decrease over the past two weeks, The New York Times reports. Although positive case numbers are slowing down, there has been an increase in patients hospitalized by COVID-19 and an increase in COVID-19 deaths. The city is recording an average of 116 deaths a day in its seven day average.

The City is continuing to urge New Yorkers to get tested for COVID-19 and to get caught up on their latest vaccine dose, and is also urging New Yorkers to invest in high-quality masks after the CDC said that fabric masks do not offer the same level of protection as surgical grade masks and respirators. However, the agency did say that Americans should “wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.”

You can check out BK Reader’s mask analysis here.

A new Biden initiative allows every U.S. home to order four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 test kits at COVIDtests.gov; most people with a health plan can also receive 8 at-home COVID-19 test kits per person, per month, either at no cost or through reimbursement through their insurance plan. The Biden administration has also said it will distribute 400 million free N95 masks at participating pharmacies and health centers.

The City has increased capacity at its COVID-19 testing sites, establishing new sites and increasing availability of at-home rapid result tests to meet demand for COVID-19 tests. To find a testing site near you, click here.

New York State

As of Jan. 31, the daily positivity average for New York State was 6.6%, down from 10% seven days earlier, according to state data. 7,1919 New Yorkers were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Jan. 31, down from 9,798 a week earlier.

Governor Kathy Hochul said that New York was still not through the winter surge and she encouraged people to continue “using the tools” to help keep our communities safe and our schools and businesses open.

“Please get the booster dose if you haven’t already, get your children vaccinated and boosted when they’re eligible, and continue to mask up. Let’s not let our guard down and risk reversing all of the progress we’ve made,” she said.

“We are closing the month in a better place than we started, and I want to thank New Yorkers for doing their part to help stop the spread during this challenging wave.”

The state mask mandate for schools is facing legal challenges, and will likely be decided on this week. Hochul had extended that mandate through Feb. 21. No matter the outcome, New York City’s public schools students will be required to wear masks due to the City’s DOE having its own mandate.

Hochul recently announced a first-in-the-nation booster requirement for health care workers, and said more information would be coming soon. She also announced new requirements for nursing home visitors, with the aim of keeping visitors and residents safe. Visitors must now wear “surgical”-type masks and have a negative COVID test within 24 hours of visiting.

According to the CDC as of Jan. 18, 74.1% of eligible New Yorkers are fully vaccinated. The state has partnered with local health departments and community partners to launch over 40 new pop-up vaccination sites across the state. Learn more and find a pop-up site

Hochul said for those wondering how long to wait to get a COVID-19 vaccine after having the virus, the CDC advised that those who had recovered from their illness, met the criteria for discontinuing isolation and were without symptoms could be vaccinated.

She added that new guidance recommended booster doses for all New Yorkers ages 12 and older. The guidance, following action by the CDC, recommends that people, including the newly authorized 12-15 year-old age group, who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should receive a booster dose at least fivemonths after their second dose; the previous recommended interval was at least six months.

In addition, moderately to severely immunocompromised 5-11-year-olds can receive an additional primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 28 days after their second dose. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children ages 5-11.   

All state mass vaccination sites  are now offering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster doses for New Yorkers 12 years of age and older, as well as third doses for immunocompromised people 5 years and older. For more information on boosters and additional doses, see the State’s dedicated page here.   

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