The fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep through New York City, with transmission rates up 34% this month and positivity rates hovering around 20% in places.
More than two years after the city’s first confirmed case, despite vaccines, boosters and masks and distancing and wave after wave of deaths, thousands of people are still infected every day.
But despite the city’s risk indicators moving to their highest levels, Mayor Eric Adams says restrictions aren’t coming back, including mask mandates. City doctors are instead urging people to consider masking and other precautions, and predict this surge will peak in a few weeks.
According to the latest data from Thursday, the city’s transmission rate now stands at 338.3 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days. This is an increase of 8% in one week, 34% since the beginning of May and 69% for a month.
As usual, the biggest problem is with the city’s unvaccinated population, where case rates have more than doubled in just two weeks and now stand at nearly 1,200 per 100,000. Hospitalization rates recent in the unvaccinated are 25 times higher than in the vaccinated; death rates are about 40 times higher.
The fifth wave is also hitting young adults harder than other groups. In the most recent week, nearly 12% of all adults aged 25 to 34 who took a test tested positive.