N.Y.C. virus cases appear to plateau, but could an uptick lie ahead?

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The rapid spread of the delta version of the coronavirus in New York City this summer has slowed in recent weeks, leading some epidemiologists to believe the city’s third virus wave has begun. But others are ready to expedite matters.

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As the school year begins, and municipal agencies and some large companies mandate a return to office, the old workday rhythm is about to return for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, even as virus levels remain relatively high. .

At the moment, the rate of new cases and hospitalizations is below the peak of summer.

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In mid-August, New York City had an average of about 2,000 people testing positive a day, ten times more than the summer before. Young adults aged 18 to 34 had the highest rate of new cases. More than 100 people were being hospitalized each day.

But in the past three weeks, new cases and other indicators have started to decline. The highest level of transmission ever occurred in Staten Island, with one in every 417 people recently testing positive in a seven-day period. The rate was more than double in Queens, which had the lowest virus levels.

Epidemiologists say the increase in New York City and much of the Northeast has been milder than in the South, largely due to differences in vaccination rates. On Thursday, the city reached a new milestone: Five million New York City residents, about 60 percent of the population, are now fully vaccinated.

But there are still large parts of New York City that have not been vaccinated. In particular, Black New Yorkers, who have much lower vaccination rates than other groups, have been hardest hit by the third wave.

till now, The third wave has been modest compared to the previous two. In early September, the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 in a single day in New York City reached 900 before falling below 800 later this week. In April 2020, there were over 12,100 at the peak.

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