Herd immunity wasn’t a factor in decreasing the number of cases of coronavirus in New York City, a top city doctor said Friday.
COVID-19 cases in the city have consistently been on a downward trend during the reopening process — despite dozens of states across the country reporting upticks.
But Mayor Bill de Blasio and Dr. Jay Varma attributed the city’s good numbers to everything but herd immunity — including social distancing, good hygiene and an increase in testing and tracing.
“I think that herd immunity is a very unlikely explanation for this because we know the vast major of New Yorkers actually weren’t infected, so we’re not ne arly at a level where we would expect that immunity would play a major role in decreasing transmission,” Varma, the city’s senior adviser for public health, said at the mayor’s daily press briefing.
“There’s still far too many New Yorkers that are susceptible,” he added.
De Blasio noted that the city is up to 40,000 coronavirus tests a day.
He also credited New Yorkers’ vigilance in fighting the spread of the deadly disease.
“New Yorkers learned powerful lessons and then they really owned those lessons in terms of wearing face coverings, in terms of social distancing,” de Blasio said. “We have to look at how much discipline and focus there’s been, how much unity there’s been in New York City which we did not see in other parts of the country that had the problems.”
In terms of daily indicators, 62 people were admitted to city hospitals for suspected COVID-19, 293 were in ICUs and the city is seeing a 2 percent infection rate as of Friday.