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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio considers mandating BOOSTER shot for restaurants and concert venues

Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is considering mandating COVID booster shots for restaurants and concert venues as the Omicron variant has spread to a variety of countries across the globe after emerging last month.  

After officials confirmed that five people in New York State have tested positive for the Omicron variant, both de Blasio and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said they would consider tightening vaccine mandates to allow entry to certain venues.   

‘With all of our approaches to COVID, we’re going to update them because we’re dealing with some new challenges,’ de Blasio said on Friday. ‘We’re going to keep updating policies regularly to meet this challenge.’

The mysterious origin of the heavily mutated strain of Covid has puzzled experts since South African scientists alerted the world to is existence last week. 

De Blasio said he is considering mandates that would require people looking to eat indoors or attend concerts to have two shots of the vaccine and the booster

Governor Hochul said she was also open to new mandates but wanted to wait until more was known about Omicron

Governor Hochul said she was also open to new mandates but wanted to wait until more was known about Omicron

De Blasio said he is considering mandates that would require people looking to eat indoors or attend concerts to have two shots of the vaccine and the booster

De Blasio said he is considering mandates that would require people looking to eat indoors or attend concerts to have two shots of the vaccine and the booster

Omicron has 32 mutations on its spike proteins alone, nearly five times more than Delta, and there are concerns its highly divergent nature could make it it both more transmissible and that vaccines will be less effective at preventing infection.

Six more US states confirmed infections of the variant yesterday but the Delta strain likely remains a greater threat as winter sets in and Americans gather for the holidays, experts said.

New Jersey, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Utah each reported their first cases of the Omicron variant on Friday.

Missouri was awaiting CDC confirmation of a case involving a St. Louis resident who had recently traveled within the United States. 

De Blasio, whose final day as mayor is New Years Day, said he is even considering mandates that would require people looking to  eat indoors or attend concerts to provide proof of receiving a COVID booster shot, in addition to already receiving two doses of the vaccine, the New York Daily News reported.

The city currently requires proof of one shot. currently the city requires providing proof of one shot. 

‘That will be looked at along with a series of other actions because it’s really dynamic right now,’ de Blasio said.

Currently, 81 percent of New York City adults are fully vaccinated, while 89 percent of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to city data.

While the Omicron variant was a priority, de Blasio said he is also still worried about the Delta variant spreading in the winter months when New Yorkers are forced to be indoors.  

Hochul said she was also open to new mandates but wanted to wait until more was known about Omicron.  

‘I don’t know enough about this variant. I’m not going to overreact, but I can react that quickly if we need to,’ she said on Thursday as she snapped her fingers. 

Public health experts are still assessing the risks of Omicron, which has several troubling mutations that suggest it could spread quickly and potentially evade immunity from vaccines or prior infections. 

Incoming mayor Eric Adams said he will revisit de Blasio’s vaccine mandate once he takes office.  

‘The mask mandates we should keep in place because we’re doing an amazing job on that,’ he said during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier this month. ‘And we need to revisit how we address the vaccine mandates. What I’m going to encourage him to do is to sit down with the unions. We can work this out.

‘This is a very difficult moment but there’s an opportunity to sit down with the unions. I communicated with some of the union leaders yesterday and they are open to sit down.’

Despite the strain being spotted in 38 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said no one has died with the new super mutant.

The Omicron variant was discovered by South African health officials last week, and while not much is known about it yet, it is was recently found to be 2.4 times more infectious than previous variants.

Due to its high number of mutations, it’s also believed to be vaccine evasive, though cases have mostly been very mild.  

While de Blasio considers tightening citywide mandates for dining and concert venues, he is still working on getting hundreds of correction officers vaccinated. 

On Monday, the city’s Department of Correction reported 77 percent of its uniformed staff – about 6,000 people – had gotten at least one vaccine dose, up five percent from Monday of last week.

Department of Corrections Press Secretary Patrick Gallahue told DailyMail.com that the number of vaccinated corrections officers had gone up by 31 percent since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced vaccine mandates for the city’s municipal workers on October 20.

City Hall officials said Wednesday afternoon that 570 workers could be put on leave without pay for failing to comply with the mandate, but they would not know the precise number until those corrections officers show up for scheduled shifts and do not show proof of vaccination.

The deadline for jail workers to be vaccinated was delayed a month because of existing staffing shortages.

Workers who haven’t applied for an exemption and who failed to show proof of vaccination by 5 pm Tuesday were to be placed on unpaid leave and surrender any city-issued firearms and protective gear, officials said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who already imposed similar mandates for other city workers, said he expects the vaccination rate to rise as workers begin missing paychecks or their requests for an exemption are denied.

‘I expect those numbers to up in a very substantial way in the days ahead,’ de Blasio told reporters at a virtual news conference Wednesday. 


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