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“People can be fed up, angry, tired and frustrated — I am too,” he said. “But wishing the pandemic away doesn’t make it so.”

Mr. Adams introduced the color-coded alert system in March, based on parameters set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York had remained since then at the lowest level of risk, represented by the color green, meaning virus cases had mostly stayed below 200 per 100,000 residents per week; the city has now surpassed that threshold, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, the health commissioner, said Monday.

The alert system lists several steps that Mr. Adams should consider at the medium level: Requiring masks in schools again, and bringing back the city’s system for checking for proof of vaccination at restaurants, gyms and indoor entertainment sites, known as Key to N.Y.C.

If the city enters the high risk level, represented by the color orange, then Mr. Adams should consider requiring face masks in all public indoor settings, according to the alert system.

State health officials recently announced a troubling new development: Two new versions of the subvariant — BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, which appear to spread more rapidly than BA.2 — seem to be behind steep case increases in upstate New York, where more than 30 counties, including those that contain Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton, have already entered the high community transmission level, according to the C.D.C.

The city’s warning system is also based on a new C.D.C. color-coded system that increased the number of cases needed to ascend an alert level. Under the older version, most of the Northeast, including New York City, would already be considered red, or high transmission areas.



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