With US markets still in turmoil during Monday's thin-liquidity sessions, more troubling COVID headlines added to the general downcast mood when NYC raised its alert level from "low" to "medium".
The shift comes as the number of new cases per 100K people over the past week has surpassed 200. The latest number of 209.02 cases per 100,000 is the highest since early February.
Patients hospitalized with the virus also have increased over the last month, but still remain below 500. During the omicron-induced surge around the holidays, hospitalizations in the city peaked above 6,500 in January, per NY State data.
Although masks aren't required, the new alert level suggests that New Yorkers should wear a face mask in indoor settings while in public.
Among the five boroughs, Manhattan has the highest transmission levels, although it has seen numbers trend lower since mid-April, according to data from the city. All other boroughs have seen levels rise over the last couple weeks, prompting the change in the city's alert level.
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine tweeted that the rising alert level reflects the growing proliferation of COVID sub-variants in the city.
BREAKING : NYC has just officially moved into “yellow” covid alert status citywide. (= 200+ cases/week per 100k people)— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) May 2, 2022
This reflects a growing wave of omicron sub-variants.
As Americans wonder what's next for COVID in the US, it's worth noting that cases are surging again in South Africa, a country that has long been seen as an early indicator for COVID trends in Europe and the US, and public health experts are monitoring the situation, eager to know what’s driving the spike. During the past week, the NYT reported that cases have tripled, positivity rates are up and hospitalizations have also increased. The surge has the country facing a possible fifth wave.
The spike is said to be linked to BA.4 And BA.5, two subvariants that are part of the Omicron family.