NYC rates at 5-month highs amid 6th wave fears – NBC New York

New York’s COVID positivity rates have climbed back to late January levels, as top doctors warn the city could be on the verge of a sixth wave of COVID-19 driven by the
“worst version” of the omicron variant to date.

The city’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate hit 9.94% on Tuesday, the highest level since Jan. 24, according to published data by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Admittedly, the number of people actually tested is at its lowest for several months, which distorts the positivity rate. But citywide transmission rates have increased by about 6% in the past week alone, indicating a legitimate increase in the spread of the virus.

In parts of Manhattan, positivity rates are currently nearing 17%, while they exceed 20% in eastern parts of Queens.

Dr. Jay Varma, a Weill Cornell epidemiologist and former top public health adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio during the pandemic, said infections appear to have stabilized at a high level in the city, rather than declining.

“The decline in reports #COVID-19[FEMININE[FEMININE cases in New York have ceased. Reported cases are at a high plateau, meaning actual transmission is very high when you factor in >20x undercount. This is probably the start of a BA wave.5″, Varma tweeted.

The BA.5 sub-variant of the omicron variant of COVID-19 is causing concern around the world because it evades immunity more easily and is also more easily transmitted. Researcher Eric Topol, in a widely cited article this week called BA.5 the “worst version” of omicron ever.

New York State COVID Data

Statewide, COVID numbers are also rising.

After a steady decline for more than a month, hospitalizations climbed back above 2,000 in the latest data released on Tuesday. Although this is only a small fraction of the approximately 13,000 people hospitalized in mid-January, it is still a steep increase.

The worst trend is for the youngest victims – the hospitalization rate for children under the age of 1 has increased by around 25% in the last week alone.

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