- COVID-19 case rates continue to decline. Average daily infections are hovering around 670 per day, down from 3,370 at the start of this year. Hospitalizations have also declined.
- The XBB.1.5 subvariant, affectionately dubbed the “Kraken” by some scientists, continues to dominate in our area and elsewhere. CDC data projects that it accounts for 97% of new cases in our epidemiological region, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
- All five boroughs are currently at the CDC’s lowest level for COVID burden. That means that cases are low and hospitalizations aren’t putting too much pressure on the health care system.
The charts, tables and maps on this page refresh with the latest data daily or weekly, but we update the article’s text about once a month. The last text update happened on March 2.
Want different metrics on this page? Please send any questions or comments to SciHealthData@wnyc.org.
These charts portray New York City’s primary COVID statistics over the last 90 days. Confirmed infections rose sharply after Thanksgiving and remained high ahead of Christmas. Cases dropped slightly over the winter holidays and have declined even more in recent months.
This map shows COVID-19 hospitalizations over the last 28 days. Hospitalization rates tend to be higher in parts of the city where fewer people are vaccinated.
Most of New York City’s data is released on a three-day lag. Data for the most recent days is typically provisional. The department revises the data for older dates as new tallies arrive, so numbers for each date may change slightly over time.
The New York State Department of Health also compiles hospitalization data from medical centers statewide, giving a more complete picture than NYC’s dataset. The state’s accounting includes information on how many patients were actually hospitalized due to COVID, as opposed to just being hospitalized with COVID.
Based on state data, the city’s hospitalization rate climbed steadily in the last months of 2022, peaking in early January. But this rise didn’t match the epic surge seen a year ago, and the death rate remains low and flat.
New York City’s vaccine campaign started with early hiccups, caused mostly by inclement weather and limited federal supplies of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Since then, though, most New Yorkers have opted for at least the initial course of vaccines. The boosters have been less popular, however.
Original vaccination rates still vary widely among neighborhoods—from 55% in Borough Park to 100% in Midtown Manhattan. Uptake of the bivalent boosters, meanwhile, hasn’t cracked 50% in any neighborhood.
About 89% of New Yorkers over the age of 55 are fully vaccinated. But the oldest New Yorkers are still behind: just 65% of those over age 85 are fully inoculated, and less than a fifth have gotten their bivalent boosters. Black and white New Yorkers also remain undervaccinated.
According to the latest city data, more than half of school-age children and 83% of teens are fully vaccinated. Younger children became eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID vaccines in June 2022, but just 11% have gotten at least one shot.
Viruses mutate, much like any microorganism or creature with a genome. Coronavirus variants will pose a perpetual threat to unvaccinated people until infection rates are driven to zero.
The latest variant of interest is XBB.1.5. According to CDC projections, it accounts for 95% of analyzed coronavirus in our region as of late February.
XBB.1.5 descends from two versions of the omicron BA.2 variant, which thrived from February to June of last year. As such, many people may have some immunity to XBB.1.5, which the World Health Organization described on Jan. 4 as the most transmissible subvariant of omicron to date.
The global health agency also stated that XBB.1.5 doesn’t yet appear more severe than past variants, a claim that was supported by recent research from the New York City health department.
Research suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines may not be as effective against infections caused by the delta and omicron variants, but the drugs can still protect against severe disease, especially after boosters. Hospitalizations and deaths are low for people who take a full course of vaccines.
NYC Pandemic Over Time
These charts show how cases and hospitalizations evolved throughout every borough and citywide.
COVID-19 Pandemic In New York, New Jersey And Connecticut
Parts of New York outside of the five boroughs were hit harder by the state’s second wave relative to its first, a pattern that applied to New Jersey and Connecticut, too. Cases and deaths in all three states decreased dramatically as vaccines became widely available but surged again during the omicron wave.
In 2022, the CDC updated its COVID-19 guidance to recommend universal masking only when hospitalizations and cases are very high and hospital capacity is limited. Right now, that designation doesn’t apply anywhere in the tri-state area. In early July, amid rising cases, New York City’s health department took its own COVID alert level system off its website, saying it was “re-evaluating” the rubric. And in September, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state was lifting its mask mandate for public transit.