May 2022

NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan on NYC Entering a New Risk Alert Level

"With COVID-19 cases rising, NYC has entered the Medium risk alert level. Cases have now surpassed a rate of 200 per 100,000 people in the five boroughs. As a practical matter, what this means for New Yorkers is that they must exercise even greater caution than they have the last few weeks. If you are at a higher risk for severe disease due to age, underlying health conditions or because you are unvaccinated, consider additional precautions such as avoiding crowded indoor gatherings. We continue to strongly recommend all New Yorkers wear a mask in public indoor settings. Get tested before and after any gatherings, and if you test positive, call your doctor or 212-COVID19 to get evaluated for treatment. Vaccination and boosters are as critical as ever. If you’re eligible for your booster, please, get the dose now. The coming weeks will be critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and getting back to a Low risk level so we can more safely enjoy our spring. And remember, the steps you take to protect yourself also protect others, especially those most vulnerable. As a city, we have the tools we need to beat back this virus. As New Yorkers, we are in this together. By incorporating these steps into our daily lives, we can continue to look out for one another and ourselves."

April 2022

Holiday Message from NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan

“Holidays are a time of togetherness, love and reflection. We wish everyone a happy and — most of all — healthy holiday. To stay safe, the Health Department strongly recommends masking in public indoor settings, especially when in groups where other people’s vaccination status is unknown. We also strongly recommend people get a COVID test before and after attending any gatherings, and certainly before choosing to remove your mask at a holiday gathering. Encourage your friends and loved ones you will see this weekend to get tested as well before you gather. To find a testing site near you, or where to obtain an at-home test kit, go to or call 311. The Health Department wishes all New Yorkers joy, togetherness and good health.”

March 2022

Statement from Dr. Ashwin Vasan on Beginning Tenure as 44th NYC Health Commissioner

"Public health is deeply personal to me, and my experiences have prepared me to confront this critical moment. COVID-19 has further exposed deep inequities that have resulted in far too much taken from far too many New Yorkers. But the knowledge and skills within public health hold the keys to finally redressing these intergenerational injustices, by addressing both upstream and downstream drivers of health. This pandemic has also left our city with physical and emotional wounds that will fester and spread if we do not act now, with focus and intent. Our recovery must be centered on equity, fairness and addressing the mental health needs of our city. I look forward to getting started as Commissioner of one of the most esteemed health departments in the country, and the world."

Statements Archive