Is New York City Mayor Eric Adams changing any COVID policies while quarantining for his diagnosis?
As of right now? No.
This past weekend, Adams tested positive for COVID-19, the global infection whose decreasing number of cases have changed policies and opened much of the city back up for business. The number of cases has now increased.
“At this time, the mayor has no other symptoms, but he is already isolating and will be canceling all public events for the remainder of the week,” read a statement from the city. He is also going to immediately begin taking the antiviral medications offered for free to New York City residents and he encourages all New Yorkers eligible for these medications to take them as well.
“While he is isolating, he will continue to serve New Yorkers by working remotely.”
When the AmNews contacted Adams’ office for a direct comment, we were sent a link to a YouTube video of a recent news conference.
In early March, the mayor made wearing masks for 2- to 4-year-old children in daycare centers and schools optional. This came two weeks after making the same declaration for public school children around the five boroughs.
According to Scientific American, the BA.2 variant of the COVID-19 infection was originally detected in South Africa Last November. Right now, the Northeastern part of the United States has been hit hard with new COVID-19 cases and is mostly responsible for the increase in numbers.
A recent study from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the BA.2 variant of the COVID-19 infection has increased in states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont and Maine.
As of April 4, 55% of all new COVID cases in the country are of the BA.2 variant. In New York City, on a 7-day average, cases increased by 4% (1,887 diagnoses) and on a 28-day average of 3.52% (1,366 diagnoses).
Other cities aren’t resting on their laurels.
This week, Philadelphia’s government changed course and will reinstate the indoor mask mandate. Philadelphia City Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said that the city needed to be preemptive in their approach to ridding the city of COVID-19.
“If we fail to act now, knowing that every previous wave of infections has been followed by a wave of hospitalizations, and then a wave of deaths, it will be too late for many of our residents,” said Bettigole to reporters this week. “This is our chance to get ahead of the pandemic, to put our masks on until we have more information about the severity of this new variant.”
With this latest development, however, will the mayor remain gung-ho on his education policies? One parent says “Yes.”
“Unfortunately, I don’t think much is going to change,” said Kaliris Y. Salas-Ramirez, Ph.D., a lecturer at The Sophie Davis Program of Biomedical Education at the CUNY School of Medicine and member of the Alliance for Quality
Education. “They may on-ramp masking for K-12 but it will be because of the BA.2 variant surge, and Vasan may bring back mandates…and they will ask families to take their at-home tests before coming back from break (but it will not be required to come back to school).
“My sense is that Adams will be like Trump on this…he gets treatment with antivirals and will recover fine…and he will probably feel like he is the king of the world.”