“Despite our wishes to have this behind us, we have not yet achieved it.”

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COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York have increased by 70% since the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, prompting officials and companies to re-evaluate their policies in an attempt to mitigate an increase in the winter virus. and the appearance of the new omicron variant.

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Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday that the increase in hospitalizations across the state, along with a 58% increase in cases per 100,000 people during the same period, was the impetus for a new state interior mask mandate to companies without a vaccine requirement. While cases and hospitalizations had increased primarily in upstate New York earlier this month, rising trend levels are now present across the state.

Hochul said the omicron variant did not directly influence his mask term decision, but that it is an area of ​​concern. The state has identified 38 cases of omicron, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the variant now accounts for 3% of all sequenced cases in the US, down from 0.1 % at the beginning of December.

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“If I sound a little frustrated, maybe I am,” Hochul said at a virus briefing Tuesday in New York City. “Despite our wishes to have this behind us, we have not yet reached that point.”

Business impact

A vaccination requirement for all private sector employers in New York City will also go into effect on December 27.

The city’s shift in focus to private businesses comes after successful vaccine campaigns targeting public sector employees, leading to the public workforce being largely vaccinated and multiple legal challenges won by the city and the state. . On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States put into effect a vaccination mandate for healthcare workers.

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New York’s most recent mask mandate prompted some large employers to change their vaccine policies.

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On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase & Co. sent a memo to employees instructing the unvaccinated to stay home as part of a new vaccination mandate to enter the company’s headquarters in New York and eight others. office buildings. Unlike Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, which only allow vaccinated employees to work from their buildings, JPMorgan previously allowed unvaccinated employees to enter if tested twice a week.

“We are taking this step because we have very high vaccination rates among our employees,” the bank said in an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. “With rates well above 90%, it seems unfair to require our vaccinated employees to wear masks all day at their desks, and it would be a step that would slow down the progress we have already made toward business normality.”

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Hochul said he would re-evaluate the mandate on January 15 and urged companies to comply.

“I know this is not easy for companies,” he said. “My goal with this mask or vax mandate has been to keep you open, to keep your doors open, so that you can continue to pick up what you do every day. You are a fundamental part of our economy. “

Vaccine push

Hochul also said the state is rolling out Christmas vaccination pop-ups in churches, shopping malls and other popular places to increase the state’s vaccination rate. The state is also trying to increase the booster vaccination rate by 70% of nursing home residents.

New York is among the most vaccinated states in the US, with 70.5% of people fully vaccinated compared to the US average of 60.9%, according to Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.

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Hochul said hospitalizations, however, are concentrated among people who have not yet received both vaccines.

There have been 179,502 laboratory-confirmed breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated people, or 1.4% of the population of fully vaccinated people 12 years of age and older, according to state data as of Nov. 29. There have been 11,051 hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people, or 0.09% of the population of fully vaccinated people 12 years and older.

The daily rate of hospitalizations in New York was 0.8 per 100,000 among fully vaccinated people in the week beginning Nov. 15, compared with 8.75 per 100,000 people during the same period, according to state data plus Recent

“This is a crisis of the unvaccinated,” Hochul said.

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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