NYC COVID infection and hospitalization rates increase as questions swirl over Mayor Adams’ plan

Coronavirus infection rates are spiking in the city with more than 15% of all tests coming back positive on average in the past week, data from the Health Department shows — and it remains unclear if Mayor Adams will take any new steps to address the pandemic resurgence.

While the weeklong test positivity average is at 15.4% citywide, there are pockets in every borough where the rate tops an alarming 20%, the data shows. COVID-19 hospitalizations are ticking up, too.

As of Thursday, 1,119 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the city, the highest number since February, according to city data. Compounded with booster vaccination rates remaining largely stagnant, public health experts view the spiking hospitalization rate as especially troubling as it indicates that more people are falling seriously ill from the virus.

A COVID-19 testing and vaccination site in Brooklyn, New York. (Spencer Platt/)

Health Department data shows the citywide coronavirus booster rate has been stuck around 39% since April, a concerning sign as the effectiveness of the first two vaccine doses wanes over time.

“We need a campaign to reverse this trend, based on a simple Q: are you up to date on your vax?” Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine wrote on Twitter over the weekend.

Levine, who used to chair the City Council’s Health Committee and has been a major proponent of vaccine mandates, suggested Adams should reintroduce a $100 cash incentive for boosters and roll out an aggressive ad campaign educating New Yorkers that being “up to date on your vax” should at this stage of the pandemic include a third shot.

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