Photo Credit: NIAID / NIH
Image of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19)

The number of new cases of COVID-19 is continuing to skyrocket in New York, with hospitals beginning to severely limit and in some cases entirely prohibit visits to patients in hopes of preventing further infection.

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Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that 21,846 new cases of the coronavirus were diagnosed over the past 24 hours.

The figure included 396 new hospitalizations due to the virus.

City health officials say pediatric hospitalizations rose nearly five-fold since the start of this month. According to CBS News, “nearly all of those children were unvaccinated.”

Since de Blasio’s announcement last Tuesday of a $100 incentive for those who get a booster shot at city-run facilities, 180,000 booster doses have been administered to New Yorkers. The offer is valid until Friday, December 31.

Statewide, the figures are equally impressive: Governor Kathy Hochul reported a new single-day high of 67,000 cases on Wednesday out of 362,000 tests conducted, a 64 percent increase in just the last day and a rise to an 18.5 percent positivity rate for the state.

Last Friday Hochul announced a reduction in the quarantine time for critical workers, shortening the period to five days, in hopes of reducing the staff shortages around the state resulting from the combined quarantines of workers getting sick and those exposed to them.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) likewise recommended shortening the quarantine time for the virus to just five days.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.