Mayor Eric Adams is taking new action to increase NYC’s COVID-19 preparedness and to ensure readiness for the current increase in infections and potential waves to follow.
NYC is preparing to potentially enter another high COVID-19 alert level in the coming days and strongly recommends that all New Yorkers mask up in public indoor settings to protect themselves and others, the mayor noted.
Adams, along with the NYC Test & Trace Corps (Test & Trace), the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) announced the addition of 16.5 million at-home tests and 1 million quality masks to be distributed over the next month with the At-Home Test Distribution Project.
“It’s never been easier for New Yorkers to get a free at-home test, a high-quality mask, or access COVID-19 treatments in New York City,” said Mayor Adams during the May 16 announcement. “At-home tests and masks provide reliable and convenient ways for New Yorkers to confidently and safely protect themselves and others and allow them to enjoy our city. I encourage all New Yorkers to go out and pick up a free at-home test as soon as they can to remain prepared, to mask up in indoor public settings, and to take advantage of the life-saving treatments we now have readily available to fight this virus.”
The At-Home Test Distribution effort joins other measures to avoid the worst impacts of the current COVID-19 wave, including the 35,000 COVID-19 courses of treatment to date, which have successfully prevented nearly 2,000 hospitalizations in the city so far.
“We now have the ability to test ourselves in the comfort of our own home, before deciding whether to dine out with friends, head out for work, or attend a family gathering with grandparents and little ones,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “Along with getting vaccinated and boosted, high-quality masks and at-home tests provide additional tools to stay safe and healthy. Thank you to all the community-based organizations and faith-based institutions working to get at-home tests and masks in the hands of every New Yorker that needs them.”
“Regular home testing and wearing masks indoors, especially while cases rise, is the best way to keep yourself, those around you, and your community safe,” added DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “I advise all New Yorkers to mask up indoors, even if you have a negative test and especially if you are unvaccinated, have not had your booster, or are in a high-risk category. Masks offer strong protection against getting and transmitting COVID-19. We don’t anticipate that this wave will last much longer, so hang in there, New York City. If we all do our part, we can bring case numbers down in the coming weeks and get ready for a wonderful summer.”
Dr. Vasan issued a further advisory to New Yorkers later on Monday, tweeting that the city is approaching a “high” COVID-19 alert level.
“Today I’m issuing a Commissioner’s Advisory urging ALL New Yorkers to wear a mask indoors,” Dr. Vasan tweeted. “Regular home testing and wearing masks indoors, especially while cases rise, is the best way to keep you and your community safe.”