COVID-19 is on the rise throughout the nation and Queens is one of the areas most impacted by the surge.
New York City as a whole has seen an increase in cases over the past month, with Queens being the borough that is leading the way.
The number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Queens has been steadily rising since the middle of November, according to NYC.gov, which is tracking the cases. Cases have increased from 215 on Nov. 21 to 636 on Dec. 21. This rise in cases has occurred even with less residents going for in-person testing.
The number of cases in Queens has outpaced the other boroughs. On Dec. 21, there were 545 in Brooklyn, 401 in the Bronx, 399 in Manhattan and 166 in Staten Island.
Queens is yet again the epicenter, as it was in 2020 when the pandemic hit the U.S. However, this time there have not been nearly as many fatalities. Queens this month has averaged one death per day from COVID-19.
The CDC attributes the recent surge in cases in Queens and the country in large part to a new COVID-19 variant, known as JN.1. According to the CDC, this variant was first discovered in September. While there has not been any evidence to suggest this variant is a greater health risk than others, the CDC believes it to be either more transmissible or better at evading people’s immune systems.
With winter marking flu season, more people are getting sick this time of year in any case.
Despite rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations have recently been declining in Queens. After reaching a peak of 31 hospitalizations on Dec. 18, the number has dropped to the point that there was only one from Dec. 22-25.
The CDC encourages the public to get vaccinated for the flu and COVID-19. While these vaccinations may not prevent the spread of COVID-19, health experts say it will certainly help lessen its severity.