What happens when New York’s Covid alert level changes to medium risk?

As coronavirus cases rise again, fueled by BA.2, the highly contagious subvariant of Omicron, New York City is poised to move from a green or low risk level to a yellow or medium risk. But what does this mean for city dwellers and what precautions should they take? And what restrictions could the city adopt in response to the increased threat?

Here’s what you need to know:

The city’s new alert level system, which debuted in early March, is based on measures established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that try to give people and local governments an idea of when they should take extra precautions, such as wearing masks indoors, to prevent transmission of the coronavirus. The system uses three metrics to determine risk: the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days, new Covid hospital admissions per 100,000 people in the past seven days, and the percentage of hospital beds. hospitals occupied by Covid patients.

A previous system, which the CDC used for much of the pandemic, ignored hospitalization rates and set the trigger to color-coded risk levels at much lower case rates. Under the old system, most of the Northeast, including New York, would already be considered an area of ​​red or high transmission, even though hospitalizations from the subvariant remain low in most areas. locations.

In New York, a green risk level means there is “lower” community spread of Covid-19. As long as new Covid-19 cases remain below 200 per 100,000 people per week in the city and hospitalizations remain low, the alert level remains green. Once new cases reach 200 per 100,000 population, even if hospitalizations remain low, a yellow alert is triggered, meaning the risk level is “medium”. Hospitalizations above 10 new Covid-19 admissions per 100,000 per week, even at low case rates, can also trigger a yellow level. Covid-19 hospitalizations must be high to trigger an amber or high alert.

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