COVID-19: NYC Quote of the Day 2020-09-08

Tuesday, September 8, 2020, NYC Mayor de Blasio - Projections vs. Precautions

Question: Can you tell me a little bit about what kind of epidemiological projections the city has for the fall? What do you anticipate in terms of increased infection rates in the City of New York?

Mayor: Anticipate is an interesting word. Itís not an unfair word, but I want to tell you that we don't assume that things are going to be exactly the way we want it to be, nor do we assume the worst. We prepare for the worst, but now it's been months of tremendous stability. I think our job is to maintain that stability and then drive the infection rate down. Unquestionably, the biggest factor is New Yorkers who are observing social distancing in so many ways. It's not perfect, but it's really impressive. The use of face masks is really impressive, and a lot of precautions being taken in workplaces and so many parts of the city. So that's the biggest piece of the equation, but also, being very careful about what we open when, how we do it, the precautions we take, like the immense amount of measures being taken to ensure the safety and health of everyone in the school buildings. So right now I'd say we think we have a good opportunity to stay stable and then to fight the disease back more. But the next month, six weeks, are crucial because there will be so much more activity to keep a very tight lid on that and obviously move our test and trace resources effectively and quickly as needed. Jay, you want to add?

Senior Advisor Dr. Jay Varma: There are areas of concern and there are areas to be maybe cautiously optimistic. The areas of concern are, as we are progressively opening up more, the situation around the rest of the country is not necessarily improving, and, of course, we know that during the winter months people move progressively indoors and there was also the overlap of other respiratory viruses. The models we've analyzed and all predicted those could potentially create problems. For a sort of cautious optimism, we've seen that in the Southern hemisphere, the flu season has been dramatically reduced by all of the COVID social distancing and mask-wearing measures. So it's possible our flu season could be more mild than we anticipated, and also, of course, our testing and tracing initiatives continue to perform at a very high level, and those really represent a critical safeguard.
Edited for redundancy, grammar, and emphasis
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