New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his Health Commissioner Dr Dave Chokshi have issued a new public health notice for at-risk New Yorkers and the people they live with.
The advisory is aimed at residents aged 65 and up, people with underlying conditions, and anyone sharing a household with said individuals. The advisory further urges those at-risk groups to limit non-essential activities outside of their homes.
During a Tuesday briefing, Commissioner Dr Chokshi also advised the groups at risk to avoid public spaces or gatherings and not to have guests.
"COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are increasing rapidly in New York City. Adults over 65 and people with underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk of severe COVID-19, and household members and caregivers of these people should: Limit activities outside your home, except leaving home to travel to work or school, or for essential purposes including medical care, grocery shopping or pharmacy necessities, Avoid public spaces and gatherings
Stay home if sick except for medical care, including testing for COVID-19, Wear a face covering at all times indoors and outdoors, including when around members of their own household who have been exposed to COVID-19, are showing symptoms of the virus or frequently interact with the public," read the advisory.
Meanwhile, long lines have continued at some COVID-19 testing centres around the Bronx.
A check at City MD Urgent Care in Parkchester area revealed a long line of people waiting to get the free coronavirus test.
In an interview with Parkchester Times, Tamara, who only gave her first name, said getting tested for coronavirus was very important to her as she wanted to ensure she was safe from the virus.
"It is important just to make sure I am safe, my daughter is safe and my family is safe. It is better to get tested than to be sorry later on and be sick and spreading the virus.," Tamara said.
Tamara, who has a four year old daughter doing virtual learning also welcomed the city's decision to close schools in view of increased coronavirus cases.
"My daughter does virtual learning. The decision to close schools is a good idea to lower the risks for staff, teachers and the students," she said.
Steve Knight, who had also been waiting in line for four hours, said the COVID-19 testing was definitely necessary.
"If you work with other people, it is the right thing to do, probably get tested like every two weeks or every month just to make sure you good. I am testing for the first time because this is the first time I am going back to work since March. I am just trying to make sure I am safe and not sorry. If you are hesitant to do the test please know that COVID is real and make sure you get tested," Knight said.
Knight urged the city to set up more coronavirus free testing centres in the Borough.
"They need to have more free open areas for people. They have them in clustered areas with the high COVID rates. The long wait in lines is just making a bigger cluster for potential COVID cases becauses people are not even staying six feets apart. If we had testing centres spaced out throughout the boro, this would be unnecessary," Knight said.