New York City health officials on Thursday downgraded the city's COVID risk level from 'High' to 'Medium,' as the city's latest COVID peak has passed.
A 'Medium' alert level reduces the strictness of COVID protocols around the five boroughs, though masking indoors is still a recommendation by city health officials.
The downgrade in alert level had been expected for about two weeks after city health officials determined that the latest Omicron wave had peaked. As of last Monday, children under age 5 were no longer required to wear masks in childcare settings.
Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Department of Health & Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in a joint statement that the last several months prove the city is "winning the fight against COVID-19."
"This surge has taught us a lot about how the virus is currently behaving, and how to prepare for the coming weeks and months," they said.
"Testing, vaccinations, treatments, and masking have been vital tools to keep people alive and out of the hospital. But we know there remains no greater defense against this virus than vaccination, which is why we're pleased that young children are now eligible for the protection they deserve, and can't wait to being under-5 vaccination tomorrow."
COVID-19 vaccinations will be available for children 6-months and older, following last week's recommendation by the FDA. New Yorkers with eligible children are encouraged to reach out to their pediatricians for the shots or use NYC's COVID-19 Vaccine Finder for help.