New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the continued increase in the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 was “very worrisome.”
The positivity rate was up 2.8% Tuesday, with a seven-day rolling average of 2.31%, which de Blasio said was “not someplace we want to be.”
If the seven-day average goes above 3%, schools will go remote for a period, he said. If it continues climbing, some businesses could face “full scale closures,” or “limits on hours.”
"We can turn this back, but this is a warning sign if ever I’ve seen one that we have some work to do quickly to make sure the city stays safe and we do not have that second wave," de Blasio said.
“We believe we can still fight back the second wave,” he added later.
The mayor said one area of “tremendous concern” was new cases on a seven-day average. NYC had set a threshold of 550 cases, which it has “far surpassed” with 795, de Blasio said.
While some of the extra cases is indicative of more testing, “some of it obviously indicates a problem,” he said.
“We have not had major events or major gatherings be the cause … of spread that we’ve been able to identify," added de Blasio.
Dr. Jay Varma, health advisor to the city, said about 5% of cases were associated with gatherings, and around 10% were due to travel.
For more than half, “we don’t have a way to directly attribute the source of infection and that’s a concern,” Varma said.