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As Cases and Hospitalizations Rise, New York City Issues Health Advisory to Older New Yorkers and At-Risk Population

December 1, 2020

NEW YORK— Amid a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the City today advised older adults and at-risk New Yorkers to limit non-essential activities.

“A second wave is, and we need those most at-risk of serious illness to take additional precautions,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. As we continue to fight back the virus,we need New Yorkers citywide to step up and do what we know works: wear a face covering, practice social distancing, get tested, and take care of one another.”

“This notice warns at-risk New Yorkers about the growth in COVID and urges appropriate precautions such as stopping non-essential activities, staying in as much as possible, and avoiding social activities outside of your household,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “But everyone should exercise caution. Whether or not you are a senior or have an underlying condition, COVID-19 can infect you, cause serious illness and long-term symptoms—and could spread from you to others who are at even greater risk.”

Older adults and people with underlying health conditions who are at an increased risk of severe COVID-related illness to limit activities outside the home, except leaving home to travel to work or school, or for essential purposes including medical care, grocery shopping or pharmacy necessities. This comes amid rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The advisory also applies to household members and caregivers of these individuals.

Underlying health conditions that increase your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include cancer, heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies, chronic kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, obesity, immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, smoking, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A full list of conditions that may increase the risk of severe illness can be found on the CDC website.

Those covered by this advisory should also wear a face covering at all times indoors and outdoors—including when around members of their own household who have known exposure to COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms of the virus, or frequently interact with the public.

Additionally, to limit your interactions with other people as much as possible, individuals covered by the advisory are advised not to have guests in their homes except for necessary caregivers and to avoid travel within and outside of New York City. 

Individuals covered by the advisory must continue to practice routine and necessary precautions with heightened vigilance: maintain at least 6 feet of  distance from other individuals at all times outside of the home; stay home if you are sick except for essential medical care, including testing for COVID-19; follow good hand hygiene, including washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; and frequently clean high touch areas.
Those covered by the advisory should continue to maintain routine medical care for any chronic or other health conditions, and obtain any necessary vaccinations, under the consultation of your healthcare provider.

Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider. Those experiencing a medical emergency should call 911.

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