New York, NY – As New York City starts to open back up after a year long battle with COVID, cases begin to rise again with new variants emerging out of the woodwork. Low vaccination rates and a new variant named delta are to blame, according to health officials. A total of 10 neighborhoods across the area have seen the uptick in cases.
Out of the 10 areas with the lowest vaccination rates, six of them are experiencing high positive rates for COVID. According to the city’s health department, the delta variant now accounts for 26% of the positive cases, a rise from last week’s numbers at 17.1% in the city’s variant report. However, hospitalization rates are down to 24% and death rates are in the single digits, but officials say that can change.
Apparently the city’s highest percentage of positive cases each week is stemming from one borough: Staten Island. The borough accounts for 1.42% of positive cases, more than half of Manhattan. As of now all of the city’s other boroughs are below 1 percent. New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi says the problem is rooted in unvaccinated residents of Staten Island. However, the rates are much lower than they were at the peak of the pandemic.
While Governor Cuomo tries to shift the narrative to gun violence, there are still New Yorkers pointing out how big an issue COVID is. Brooklyn-based Daily Beast editor Harry Siegel shared this on Twitter:
Mayor DeBlasio is already working on combating the rise of cases. He said the city plans to double down on the problem, offering easier vaccination sites like mobile vans and more advocates to hopefully sway hesitant New Yorkers who have not received the shot yet.
The delta variant is highly transmissible, tying with the alpha variant for most contagious. As of right now it is also the most dominant strain in the United States. As of now, 59% of adults across the nation are vaccinated but with a new variant threatening another shut down, officials are pushing for an increase in vaccinations.