Photo Credit: Haydn Golden on Unsplash

New York City’s Health Commissioner, Dave Al Chokshi, MD issued a formal Commissioner’s Notice on Tuesday (Dec. 1) warning seniors in the city and those with underlying health conditions to “stop non-essential activities, stay in as much as possible and avoid social activities outside of their household.”

The advisory quotes the declaration of the COVID-19 “public health emergency” declared on March 25 per Section 3.01 of the NYC Health Code.


New York City “is experiencing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and additional actions are warranted to protect public health, moderate case growth and preserve hospital capacity,” the advisory reads.

“Whereas older adults and people with certain underlying health conditions have an increased risk of severe COVID-19 that increases the risk of medical complications, hospitalization and death, the Commissioner of Health hereby issues an advisory for older adults (in particular, aged 65 and older), people with underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk of severe COVID-19, and household members and caregivers of these individuals.

“To protect yourself, your household members and your communities against the spread of COVID-19, you are hereby advised to limit activities outside your home, except leaving home to travel to work or school, or for essential purposes including medical care, grocery shopping or pharmacy necessities.

“Further, New Yorkers, especially those covered by this advisory, should, when possible:

  • avoid public spaces and gatherings;
  • wear a face covering at all times indoors and outdoors, including around household members, where such household members have symptoms of COVID-19, a known exposure to someone with COVID-19, or frequent interactions with the public;
  • maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other individuals at all times outside of the home;
  • stay home if you are sick except for essential medical care, including testing for COVID-19;
  • follow good hand hygiene, including washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • and frequently clean high touch areas.

“Additionally, to limit your interactions with other people as much as possible, you are advised not to have guests in your home except for necessary caregivers and to avoid travel within and outside of New York City.

“Underlying health conditions that increase your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • cancer,
  • heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies,
  • chronic kidney disease,
  • type 2 diabetes,
  • pregnancy,
  • sickle cell disease,
  • obesity,
  • immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant,
  • smoking,
  • and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“A full list of conditions that may increase the risk of severe illness can be found on the CDC website.

“You should maintain routine medical care for any chronic or other health conditions, and obtain any necessary vaccinations, under the consultation of your healthcare provider.

“Contact your health care provider if you have symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

For more information and guidance visit


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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.