Corona virus in the United States: Omigron disables New York

As of: 12/28/2021 02:34 am

Bars are empty, but queues at checkpoints are on the rise: the number of infections in New York is rising rapidly thanks to Omigron. Mayor de Blasio has now introduced a compulsory vaccine for all employees.

By Antje Passenheim, ARD-Studio New York

New York Governor Kathy Hochul does not want to alarm: It must be admitted that the number of cases is increasing. But that did not really surprise us. “They are skyrocketing, especially in New York. The speed at which Omigran is spreading is paralyzing the city, which is very close to normal. Almost every twelfth resident is affected. There were infections and within a week the number had tripled.

The situation in clinics is relatively calm, Hochul says. “Despite the increasing number of coveted deliveries, we can comfort ourselves: not where we were in the spring of 2020 or January of this year. But it is increasing.”

More children in the hospital

Omigran infections are generally milder than others. Worrying though: Health Commissioner Mary Bassett has warned that children with corona infections are increasingly being admitted to New York hospitals. “As of last Friday’s data, the number of states has increased 70 to two and a half times since December 11, while in New York they have almost quadrupled.” 22 to 109. Half of the younger patients were less than five years old.

Unlike others in the United States, children under this age are not allowed to be vaccinated. But only a quarter of the older children brought in were vaccinated. Bassett urges pediatricians to be vigilant: “We want to warn parents. Many still do not believe that children can get goiter. That is not true: children are becoming infected and some need to be hospitalized.”

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Bad memories of 2020

Of the city’s more than eight million people, 72 percent have not yet been fully vaccinated. One-third of them have already received the booster vaccine. However, tension is spreading among the people of New York. And memories of the spring of 2020, when the first corona wave centered on the city.

“I’m not saying I’m scared, but I’m worried,” says one man standing in line for a test in Midtown Manhattan. New Yorkers are simply annoyed. They were very close to normal again, he says. Now everything is coming back again.

The first bars and restaurants were closed, the others were empty. The lights are off at most shows on Broadway. The recently renovated sidewalks are as empty in many places as they were a year ago. More and more people are now putting their masks back on – including one passerby: “I’m scared this variation is so contagious. It’s so confusing how things come to head again.”

The first city to have all employees vaccinated

In contrast, the first test stations have been opened at several subway stations. At the same time, transport companies are preparing passengers to run fewer trains – due to the lack of more staff due to the Govt.

Outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio was active earlier in the week: New York was the first city in the United States to introduce mandatory vaccinations for all employees, including the private sector. This must be documented by the employer. Violation carries a fine of $ 1,000 and up.

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