Much like the rest of New York City, the Bronx enters the month of February with a rapid decline in COVID-19 cases, a sign that the omicron variant may be in the rearview mirror.
Mayor Eric Adams said during a Sunday afternoon COVID-19 briefing that NYC’s case count has fallen by more than 80% since early January, and the Bronx’s numbers on Monday reflected that the borough’s positivity rate has fallen from 34.8% to 7.8% over the past three weeks.
The city’s median seven-day average stands at 47.3 cases per 100,000 entering Monday, and only two Bronx zip codes — Fieldston’s 10471 and Parkchester’s 10462 — have higher rates at 59.9 and 50.8 cases per 100,000 residents.
The Bronx managed to get through the peak of the omicron surge with a seven-day average of 1,076 hospitalizations and 21 deaths over the past four weeks, thanks to its vaccination rate — 83.9% of Bronxites have received at least one-dose of the vaccine. The borough is also seeing a climb in its booster rates, as 19.6% of Bronx residents have received the COVID-19 booster, a rate that has increased over the past few weeks.
Hospitalizations throughout the city varied among the vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, as 83.9% of unvaccinated patients made up most of the city’s hospitalizations last week.
And more tools for New Yorkers looking to stave off COVID-19 appear to be on the way, as Adams announced that New York City would begin to offer same-day delivery of at-home antiviral pills to combat the virus. Priority is given for city residents who test positive and are at higher risk for severe outcomes to the disease, Adams said.
And while the five boroughs lost more than 2,300 people to COVID-19 within the past month, hospitalizations and fatalities have also been on the decline, the mayor said.
Paxlovid, a pill developed by Pfizer, and molnupiravir, from Merck — both of which have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration — are the two treatments being made available by the city.
“We’re not resting — we’re bringing even more help directly to New Yorkers’ front doors. We’re offering high-risk New Yorkers, free, at-home delivery of #COVID19 antiviral pills to prevent serious illness and keep people out of the hospital,” the mayor wrote in a tweet.
Paxlovid is the “preferred oral antiviral,” the city’s website said, while Merck’s pill is designated for adults whom alternative FDA-authorized COVID-19 treatment options are not accessible or clinically appropriate since it comes with some safety risks, especially for pregnant women.
The city is also urging more vaccinations among the state’s youngest eligible population, as the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi, noted that 36% of children ages 5-12 are fully vaccinated. In the city, 85% of adults and 76% of children ages 13-17 are fully vaccinated.
“To date, only 36% of children ages five to 12 are fully vaccinated,” he said. “So I urge all parents to extend the protection of vaccination to your kids and consult with your pediatrician on any lingering questions.”
Reach Robbie Sequeira at email@example.com or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.