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    New York City has become the latest Democrat-led area to urge residents to wear face masks in all indoor spaces including grocery stores, offices and shops because of rising Covid cases. Health commissioner Ashwin Vasan said the recommendation was needed due to 'high community spread' of the virus. But he added that they 'don't anticipate... this wave will last much longer'. In the advisory notice issued Monday, officials said all residents over two years old should now wear face masks in indoor public spaces. It added that people over 65, immunocompromised, or unvaccinated should also consider donning the coverings outdoors and avoiding crowded settings. The youngest children — less than two years old — were said to be among those most at risk because they have not been offered a vaccine, despite official data showing the age group is least likely to die from an infection. It is at least the third Democrat-led city to recommend face masks are used again in all indoor settings, behind both Los Angeles and Philadelphia. New York City has the fifth largest Covid outbreak...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — At this very moment, the United States is approaching a very grim milestone of one million deaths due to COVID-19. Maryland had more than 2,400 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, and if cases continue growing, some jurisdictions may be forced to re-implement mask mandates. READ MORE: Baby Formula Shortage Fueling Spike In Milk Bank InterestTuesday, Baltimore’s health commissioner requested that people voluntarily wear masks at in-door public spaces. The city’s COVID-19 level was recently moved from “low” to “medium” and if it moves to “high,” then the health commissioner said masks will become mandatory. “We’re asking people again, to really take heed to the guidance to voluntarily put that mask on when you go indoors. I understand that we’re all over the masks, but please don those masks again so that we don’t find ourselves in a position again, where they’re mandatory,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa said. Just two months ago, Maryland’s positivity rate was at 1.5-percent, it’s now higher than 6-percent. The sharp increase in cases is also affecting schools...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With COVID-19 cases rising, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa on Tuesday said she strongly encourages residents and visitors wear masks indoors, but the city is not yet reinstituting a mandate. ????COVID-19 UPDATE???? Commissioner of Health @TheOfficialDocD issued a strong recommendation to begin wearing masks indoors due to a 243% rise in cases over the past 28 days. (1/3) — B'more City Health (@BMore_Healthy) May 10, 2022 “I am strongly recommending that masks be worn indoors or in public settings regardless of vaccination status,” she said. READ MORE: Where's Marty? Touring The Otterbein Cookies Factory, And Somehow Not Eating OneOver the last 28 days, cases have increased by 248%, she said. READ MORE: Premier League Clubs Arsenal, Everton To Play In Baltimore This Summer, Bolstering City's World Cup BidIn a statement posted to social media, Dzirasa noted many people are going on vacations and visiting friends and family, and organizers are planning outdoor activities like festivals, concerts and commencement ceremonies. MORE NEWS: Three Injured, One Killed In East Baltimore Mass Shooting“Those plans may look...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With COVID-19 cases rising, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa on Tuesday said she strongly encourages residents and visitors wear masks indoors, but the city is not yet reinstituting a mandate. ????COVID-19 UPDATE???? Commissioner of Health @TheOfficialDocD issued a strong recommendation to begin wearing masks indoors due to a 243% rise in cases over the past 28 days. (1/3) — B'more City Health (@BMore_Healthy) May 10, 2022 “I am strongly recommending that masks be worn indoors or in public settings regardless of vaccination status,” she said. READ MORE: Where's Marty? Touring The Otterbein Cookies Factory, And Somehow Not Eating OneOver the last 28 days, cases have increased by 248%, she said. READ MORE: Premier League Clubs Arsenal, Everton To Play In Baltimore This Summer, Bolstering City's World Cup BidIn a statement posted to social media, Dzirasa noted many people are going on vacations and visiting friends and family, and organizers are planning outdoor activities like festivals, concerts and commencement ceremonies. MORE NEWS: Three Injured, One Killed In East Baltimore Mass Shooting“Those plans may look...
    New York City's top health official says mask mandates and vaccine checks could make a comeback as the city battles a slight uptick in cases and hospitalizations from the omicron BA.2 subvariant.  The city increased its COVID-19 alert from low to medium this week. Commissioner Ashwin Vasan says restrictions will come back if things get worse. 'It's clear that if we moved into a high risk and high alert environment, we'd be seriously considering bringing those mandates back,' he told CNBC.  The city would go into high alert if 10 out of every 100,000 people were hospitalized with COVID, or if inpatient beds reached 10 percent occupancy across a seven-day average. Hospitalization rates are currently at seven out of 100,000, which is close to the high alert benchmark. Hospital occupancy, however, remains at a low 3.12 percent, though it's still increasing. As of today, 87 percent of adults and 78 percent of all New Yorkers are fully vaccinated.  A spokesman for the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene told DailyMail.com they're 'watching the data' but still recommend that New Yorkers...
    NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A walkout ceremony will be held Monday at the Department of Health in Long Island City for Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi.Monday will be his final day on the job.Dr. Chokshi has been leading New York City's response to the pandemic since August of 2020.ALSO READ | No more mask mandates for planes and trains? CDC devising new COVID guidelines: OfficialsEMBED More News Videos The CDC is developing a "revised policy framework" for when masks should be required on transit systems, according to a U.S. official. In an interview with Eyewitness News anchor Bill Ritter, the outgoing commissioner reflected on the toll the pandemic has taken on all of us."The stress and the grief and the trauma that everyone has gone through in their own ways so it's hard not to get emotional when you think about all those effects and the loss that so many people have experienced," Dr. Chokshi said.You can watch Bill Ritter's entire interview with Dr. Chokshi on this weekend's edition of 'Up Close.' MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGECenters for Disease...
    New York City announced March 11 as "Dr. Dave Chokshi Day" after its health commissioner, who was appointed mid-pandemic. Mayor Eric Adams issued the proclamation Friday to honor Chokshi "for his leadership during the pandemic and his dedication to protecting and improving the health of all New Yorkers." Chokshi was appointed by former Mayor Bill de Blasio as the city's health commissioner in August 2020 as a result of his predecessor Dr. Oxiris Barbot resigning over differences with the mayor at the time. Barbot had taken issue with de Blasio's decision to strip the local health department of the responsibilities associated with contact tracing. DOCTORS KEEP AN EYE ON OMICRON SUBVARIANT AS IT REARS ITS HEAD IN NYC ????March 11 is officially “Dr. Dave Chokshi Day” in NYC!???? Today @NYCMayor issued a proclamation honoring @NYCHealthCommr for his leadership during the pandemic and his dedication to protecting and improving the health of all New Yorkers. Congratulations, Dr. Chokshi! ???????????? pic.twitter.com/YK3cQlXpgN— nychealthy (@nycHealthy) March 11, 2022 "Dr. Dave Chokshi made some tough calls and he took...
    As the pandemic subsides, loneliness has become the new affliction spreading through the Big Apple. According to a city wide health survey, more than half of residents reported 'feeling lonely'  some times, with more than two thirds saying they felt socially isolated in the past four weeks. Dr Dave Chokshi, the commissioner of the city's Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, penned an op-ed for CNBC declaring this an 'epidemic of loneliness'. While the pandemic exacerbated the issue, he notes that loneliness has long been an unaddressed problem for Americans. A recent survey found that 57% of New Yorkers feel lonely and 67% have felt socially isolated within the past four weeks. Pictured: New Yorkers walk around Herald Square in New York City 'The truth is, loneliness has been hiding in plain sight for years in America,' Chokshi wrote. 'Rigorous scientific studies on the negative health effects of loneliness and social isolation exist — yet public health action has remained uneven.'  He warns that in America's longing to get back to normal in a post-pandemic world, the lonely should not be ignored...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott will meet with the city’s health commissioner, Letitia Dzirasa on Wednesday to discuss the city’s mask mandate.  “I can bet you’ll hear from me and Dr. D(zirasa) in the very near future about mask mandates and other things COVID-related,” Scott said Tuesday morning. READ MORE: Baltimore Man, 26, Arrested In String Of Towson BurglariesBaltimore City’s seven-day positivity rate is 2.04% and seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is 18.68, according to the Maryland Department of Health. Those metrics would put Baltimore City in the “Moderate” community transmission designation by the Centers for Disease Control. “I’m very proud our numbers are going down. It’s like ‘Yay!’” Sandi Giver said Tuesday on Charles Street downtown. “In (Baltimore County), they don’t have the mandate. I still wear my mask. It’s OK.” READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Temperatures Spike To 70 Degrees On WednesdayCity health officials have pointed to the CDC’s “high” transmission designation for the reason for the mask mandate. The city’s health department says the CDC calculates the case rate differently from the city and state...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a major issue — reports of 911 calls going unanswered in Philadelphia and slower response times as a result. Eyewitness News heard residents’ concerns and went straight to the police commissioner Wednesday for answers. “If you dial that number and nobody answers, what are you supposed to do?” Fairmount resident Melissa Brannon said. READ MORE: Here’s Your Chance For Rare Tour Of Only Remaining Submarine Becuna Left In World Right Here In PhiladelphiaThese are the kinds of concerns Eyewitness News has been hearing from Philadelphia residents for weeks — 911 calls going unanswered and lagging police response times. On Wednesday, Eyewitness News took those concerns straight to Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw during her weekly Zoom briefing. “One of the noted impacts that led to increased times on incoming 911 calls was our adoption of the mental health script that is read at the onset of all calls to 911,” Outlaw said. “And then on top of that, if there is an overall decreased staffing, whether in the 911 dispatch center or officer on patrol, there’s likely going...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams says the current health commissioner will remain in place through the transition to the new administration. Dr. Dave Chokshi will stay on until March 15. READ MORE: Despite Omicron Surge, Holiday Travel In Full Swing At Area AirportsMeanwhile, Adams tapped Dr. Ashwin Vasan to be the city’s next health commissioner. READ MORE: 27-Year-Old Woman Dead, 2 Others Injured After Shooting Outside Queens BarVasan is the president and CEO of Fountain House, a nationwide nonprofit that helps people will mental illness. MORE NEWS: Caught On Video: Man Smashes NYPD Cruisers Near Bronx PrecinctHe will serve as the city’s senior advisor for public health until he takes over the Department of Health.
    NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced that in the spring, the city will have a new health commissioner.Ashwin Vasan, M.D., Ph.D. will become the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner in March and will serve as Senior Advisor for Public Health in the interim.Dr. Dave Chokshi will continue to serve as Health Commissioner through March 15 of 2022.Adams said the appointments will ensure continuity and a seamless transition of leadership as New York City continues to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant."We are at a critical moment in our fight against COVID-19. The virus is a formidable opponent, and our city's response to it must be smart and strong. For the next three months as we get through this surge, Dr. Chokshi will continue the excellent work he is doing now to increase testing capacity, promote vaccinations and boosters, and stop the spread of this virus," said Mayor-elect Adams."In March, we will welcome Dr. Vasan to lead DOHMH. Dr. Vasan brings 20 years of expertise and experience working in public health...
    DC Health recently tapped a former Philadelphia health commissioner to lead its Community Health Administration, but leaders and members of the community are expressing their concerns about several controversies in the pick’s recent past. As health commissioner of Philadelphia, Dr. Thomas Farley in 2017 ordered the cremation of the remains of Black people killed in the 1985 MOVE bombing without telling their families. While the remains were not entirely destroyed, Farley stepped down from his role as health commissioner in the wake of that scandal, saying he took full responsibility for his actions, which he categorized as an error in judgement. Eleven people were killed in that bombing, including five children, when police ended a standoff with the Black liberation group MOVE in West Philadelphia by dropping explosives on the roof of the rowhouse that held their headquarters. An ensuing fire destroyed dozens of homes in the predominantly-Black neighborhood. Farley apologized for the way his office handled the attempted disposal of the remains, and said he acted on his own initiative to dispose of the them. Just a few months...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dr. Cheryl Bettigole is now the city of Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner, Mayor Jim Kenney announced Thursday. Dr. Bettigole has been the acting Health Commissioner since May 2021. Dr. Bettigole has been the city’s director of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention within the Department of Public Health since 2015. She was elevated to the acting Health Commissioner role last summer, focusing on the city’s COVID response. She also led the city’s health department efforts on making medical services available to Afghan evacuees at Philadelphia International Airport. Mayor Kenney praised Dr. Bettigole in the announcement, saying in part: “Throughout her entire career, Dr. Bettigole has demonstrated a deep commitment to prioritizing equity, access, and prevention in public health.” “I’m confident that with her experience, vision, and steadfast leadership, we’ve found the best person to lead the Health Department as we work urgently on multiple fronts to ensure the health and wellbeing of all residents.” Before her government work, Dr. Bettigole was Chief Medical Officer of Complete Care Health Network in New Jersey, as well as a...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dr. Ala Stanford, the woman who founded the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, will no longer be a candidate for the city’s next health commissioner. Dr. Stanford withdrew her name from consideration Friday night. Below is the full statement from Dr. Stanford: “I realized at our ribbon cutting that my presence within the Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity (ASHE) in its infancy is integral. I remain committed to health and well-being of all the residents of the City of Philadelphia, particularly our most vulnerable. Philadelphia was named the number one city in the nation for vaccinating people of color, largely African American, of all urban areas in the United States and I attribute that largely to our work. The Mayor and Philadelphia City Council have pledged their support toward sustainability of our work as we share a common goal to promote health and prevent disease in our communities. I look forward to continued work with the Philadelphia Department of Health and continuing our service to the City of Philadelphia beyond COVID-19 through ASHE. We are...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Department of Health’s Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole will provide a COVID update Wednesday morning. The briefing is expected to take place at 11 a.m. and will be streamed on CBSN Philly. What: Philadelphia Department of Health’s Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole to Provide a COVID update. When: Wednesday, October 6, 2021 Time: 11 a.m. Online stream: Live in the player above and on your mobile and streaming device through CBSN Philly. Stay with CBSPhilly.com for updates to this developing story.
    NEW YORK (WABC) -- Former New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett has been tapped to replace Dr. Howard Zucker and lead the state Department of Health.Governor Kathy Hochul announced the appointment Wednesday, effective December 1."Our recovery from this pandemic requires tested leadership and experience to improve health equity and access across the state, and Dr. Bassett is perfectly equipped to lead the New York State Department of Health during this critical moment," Hochul said. "When I was sworn in as governor, I pledged to build a talented team with the skills, knowledge, and expertise to stop the spread of COVID-19, return our lives to normalcy, and move our state forward. Dr. Bassett is both a highly regarded public health expert and an exemplary public servant, and I look forward to working with her to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy."Dr. Bassett currently serves as director of the Franois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights in the department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the...
    by Todd Feurer, CBS Chicago web producer CHICAGO (CBS) — Eight members of the Chicago City Council who sit on the Committee on Health are asking Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady to require people to show proof of vaccination to enter public indoor settings like restaurants, bars, theaters, and gyms. READ MORE: Father David Ryan Cleared Of Sex Abuse Claim, Reinstated As Pastor Of St. Francis De Sales Parish In Lake Zurich “In the interest of public health, New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Puerto Rico have all begun requiring proof of vaccination for persons visiting public indoor settings,” the aldermen wrote in their letter. “We believe it is time for Chicago to do the same.” The letter sites the continuing spread of the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19, the threat of other variants, looming colder weather driving more people indoors, and the easy availability of vaccines. The following aldermen signed on to the letter: Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th), Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd), Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th), Ald....
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — CBS3 has learned that Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and the health commissioner will address vaccination requirements as it pertains to municipal employees on Wednesday. It will be addressed during a press briefing. Additionally, CBS3 has confirmed that discussions regarding a possible city employee vaccine policy have been going on with “stakeholders” this week. The incoming decision has labor unions split. READ MORE: Abington School Board Votes To Mandate Masks For All Students, Staff Of the four city unions — District Council 33, 47, police and fire — District Council 33’s president is on record with CBS3 saying he would support a vaccine mandate as long as there were protections for religious and other exemptions. The district’s president, Ernest Garrett, is recovering from a COVID battle of his own. “When you are in that room, you are alone. Even the strongest of men cry when you don’t know whether or not if you are going home,” Garrett tells CBS3. The Philadelphia Fire Fighters and Paramedics Union will not comply with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. President Michael Bresnan says...