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Mayor Adams Marks Three Years Since First Recorded Death of New York City Resident From COVID-19

March 14, 2023

New York – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today marked three years since the first recorded death of a New York City resident from COVID-19 and paid tribute to the more than 45,000 New Yorkers who died from the virus in the years since.

"COVID-19 devastated our city, our families, and our lives," said Mayor Adams. "Today, as we mark three years since we recorded the loss of the first New Yorker to the pandemic, we pause to recognize the pain the past three years have brought, as well as remember the 45,000 lives lost since March 2020 in our city. Despite being the epicenter of this once-in-a-century pandemic, New Yorkers did what we always do – we got up. New York City mounted a brave collective response, driving down COVID-19 rates through multiple waves by getting vaccinated in record numbers – saving lives, and coming back stronger than ever. During this somber moment of reflection, we not only remember the thousands we can no longer hold tight, but we offer our gratitude to the millions of New Yorkers who stepped up heroically throughout this chapter of our shared history. I continue to encourage all to continue to get vaccinated and boosted."

"As we mark the first recorded life lost to the virus three years ago today, we also recognize all those we have lost: our family members, friends, colleagues, and fellow New Yorkers," said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. "Today, we also recognize all those who have sacrificed over these years to support one another and our city: our essential workers, our frontline health care workers, and all those who stepped in to fill the needs from food assistance to social support and so much in between. While we are now in a different phase of the pandemic, we encourage every eligible New Yorker to get vaccinated, get boosted, and take other everyday steps to keep safe and healthy."

"The COVID-19 emergency took a devastating toll on our city and on all of us, in ways seen and unseen, felt and yet-to-be felt," said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "Each life lost is a mother, a father, a child, or a loved one who is still missed and still mourned. And each life impacted is one we recommit to keeping safe, whether through continued COVID protections and vaccination, supporting them through the challenges of long COVID, or through mental health supports to address trauma and grief. We honor the memories of those lost by redoubling our efforts to keep ourselves, our communities, and each other healthy and safe."

"We pause today to remember not just the first, but all of the lives lost in this devastating pandemic," said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. "This is more than just a death toll. Each New Yorker who died from COVID-19 had a story. Some of our own health care workers made the ultimate sacrifice while trying to save their fellow New Yorkers. We honor them today, and every day. As we transition out of the COVID-19 emergency, let's keep each other safe by wearing masks when necessary, getting vaccinated against the virus, and staying home if we feel under the weather. NYC Health + Hospitals stands ready to protect and care for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, ability to pay, sexual preference, or gender identity."

The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on New York City with a total of more than 3.2 million cases, 211,000 hospitalizations, and 45,000 confirmed and probable deaths since March 2020. The city also waged a brave collective response with millions of New Yorkers masking and practicing social distancing when necessary – driving down COVID-19 rates through multiple waves – as well as getting vaccinated in record numbers as part of the largest vaccination campaign in the city's history. Approximately 99 percent of adult New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine already.

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