New York City has made enormous progress in our battle against Covid-19 thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers and protective policies that have often been way ahead of the rest of the nation. We have much to celebrate.
But New Yorkers should not be confused: the removal of vaccine screening in New York City does not mean the pandemic is over.
New York City is still seeing an average of close to 1,000 new cases per day. Future waves are highly likely. Yet less than half of those eligible here have received their booster.
Over 1 million people in the city (including children under 5) have not received even their first dose.
We need clear messaging to the public that vaccination remains of urgent importance, and that mask mandates remain in effect in many settings such as mass transit and hospitals.
We need to make high-quality, well-fitting masks widely available in schools and to ensure that students and staff who continue to use masks are not ostracized in any way.
We need to be clear that Covid-19 protection measures will have to be reinstated in the case of serious future waves.
We need to continue to be mindful of the vulnerability of immunocompromised New Yorkers.
I will continue to speak out on the need for New York City to lead on public health, to protect our people and our economy, no matter what’s ahead for this pandemic.