As COVID Cases Rise, One Politician Suggests Bringing Restrictions Back

As COVID cases have been on the rise due to the spreading Delta variant, one politician is suggesting we revert to previously established mandates to keep things under control.

District 7 Councilmember Mark Levine continued to state that “The rule of thumb should be: in indoor settings where there’s no screening for vax/test status, everyone should wear a mask. This must include vax’d because there’s a very small chance they can still receive/transmit, & because we need mask solidarity. Otherwise it doesn’t work.”


Levine cited “…highly vax’d places where delta has taken over (UK, SF, etc) [and] hospitalizations started to rise a few weeks after the rise in cases. This is likely to happen soon in NYC too. This is overwhelmingly driven by unvax’d people succumbing to a variant which is incredibly contagious.”

Mixed reactions swiftly followed the Council Member’s arguments.

The New York Times reported on July 14 that recent days have seen upwards of 400 new cases, double the numbers from a few weeks back, and that the test positivity rate has also doubled. The Times article states that while medical experts find the increase concerning, the consensus seems to be that, with over 60% of NYC adults fully vaccinated, a new wave is unlikely to outpace those of the pandemic’s peak.


In a July 15 email from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the BP responded to the Times writeup by saying it “sort of buries the significance of what is now starting to happen in the city,” continuing to state that “Experts quoted in the story describe themselves as ‘concerned’ rather than panicked, because they believe that the vaccines are doing what they were designed to do: prevent serious, hospital-worthy illness. But just because someone isn’t hospitalized doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting. And those who are not getting vaccinated are not just acting against their own self-interest– each of those individual decisions are creating an environment that’s dangerous to us all.”

Patch reported on July 15 that the Upper West Side’s test positive rate had increased to .79% that week, compared to a rate of .25% or less for all three zip codes during the same week in June. The publication specifically noted that zip code 10023 saw the largest month-to-month increase, rising from .17% between June 6-12 to 1.58% between July 5-11.

Patch further broke down the month-over-month numbers by zip code, while reporting that 74% of Upper West Siders had gotten at least one shot and that 70% were fully vaccinated.

10025: Upper West Side/Manhattan Valley

  • June 6-12: 0.23% positive, 7 new positives, 2,980 people tested
  • July 5-11: 0.41% positive, 8 new positives, 1,957 people tested

10024: Upper West Side

  • June 6-12: 0.19% positive, 3 new positives, 1,599 people tested
  • July 5-11: 0.38% positive, 4 new positives, 1,059 people tested

10023: Upper West Side/Lincoln Center

  • June 6-12: 0.17% positive, 3 new positives, 1,757 people tested
  • July 5-11: 1.58% positive, 20 new positives, 1,268 people tested

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