Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

A woman looks down at her phone while wearing two masks: one blue surgical mask and a black cloth mask over it. Text reads, New Yorkers: Double masking offers even more protection against COVID-19.

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New Variants/Strains

People in NYC have tested positive for five variants of concern of the virus that causes COVID-19. These variants are more transmissible than other variants and may cause more severe illness.

One variant — called B.1.1.7 — was first reported in the U.K. and has been found in other countries and U.S. states. The second variant recently found in NYC — B.1.351 — was first reported in South Africa. B.1.427 and B.1.429, both first identified in California, and the P.1 variant, first identified in Brazil, have also been identified in NYC.

Preliminary studies suggest that vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. will provide protection against these variants. Additional studies are ongoing.

NYC will continue monitoring for strains — types of variants that show meaningful differences in how they function — and other variants that have been identified and reported in New York State.

Data on Variants in NYC

As of May 4, the B.1.1.7 variant has been reported in 3,745 people in NYC, up from 3,667 reported cases in the April 27 data release.

Genomic sequencing of a subset of virus specimens taken from NYC residents during the week starting April 19 found an estimated 41.5% were B.1.1.7.

Updated Face Covering Guidance

You can get better protection by wearing two masks (a cloth mask over a disposable mask), which improves the fit and adds layers. If you are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, consider using a single higher-grade mask, such as a KN95.

Learn more about how to wear and handle face masks.

New Yorkers Should Limit Activities

The number of new COVID-19 cases in NYC remains high.

All New Yorkers should take steps to prevent COVID-19. People with underlying health conditions, as well as those who live with or care for them, should take special precautions:

  • Avoid public spaces and gatherings.
  • Do not leave home, except for work, school or essential activities, including medical care, COVID-19 testing, vaccination, or to go to the grocery store or pharmacy.
  • If you feel sick, do not leave home except for a COVID-19 test or other essential medical care.

This advisory applies to a wide range of New Yorkers, such as people 65 and older with certain underlying health conditions, such as heart conditions, chronic kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. It also applies to those who live with or care for these people.

Find out if you or someone you know is at a high risk for severe illness and should follow these increased precautions.


All New Yorkers 16 years of age and older are now eligible to be vaccinated. People who live outside of the state but work or study in New York are also eligible to get vaccinated.

Learn more about the vaccines and how they are being distributed in NYC.

COVID-19 is now spreading rapidly in New York City and throughout the United States. This is a vital time to follow our prevention guidance and do your part to stop the spread.

Avoid indoor activities and stay away from big groups by sticking to a core group of friends and family — your pandemic "social bubble." If you do go out, take the below precautions.


icon of shopping bags

Use hand sanitizer when you enter a store, after touching products and after leaving the store.

Only touch products you intend to buy. Make contactless payments whenever possible.

Medical Care

icon of a health care provider with a stethoscope

Do not delay getting the medical care you need. Contact your provider quickly about any new symptoms you are feeling, whether or not you think they may be related to COVID-19.

You should also go to routine check-ups and screenings, and get scheduled vaccinations for you and your children. If you think you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

More Information About COVID-19 in NYC

Additional Resources

Download Guidance for Getting Together