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NYC marks the third anniversary of city’s first COVID death; 45,000 have died since 2020

New York Daily News 3/14/2023 Josephine Stratman, New York Daily News

Mayor Adams Tuesday marked the third anniversary of NYC’s first confirmed death from the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed 45,000 lives since March 2020.

“COVID-19 devastated our city, our families, and our lives,” Adams said, in a statement. “Today, as we mark three years since we recorded the loss of the first New Yorker to the pandemic, we pause to recognize the pain the past three years have brought.”

The first victim of COVID-19 in the city was an unidentified 82-year-old woman who suffered from underlying respiratory issues. She died about a week after being admitted to Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn.

Since March 2020, there have been 3.2 million cases, 211,000 hospitalizations, and 45,000 deaths due to COVID in NYC.

“During this somber moment of reflection, we not only remember the thousands we can no longer hold tight, but we offer our gratitude to the millions of New Yorkers who stepped up heroically throughout this chapter of our shared history,” Adams continued, noting the city has recovered from the impacts of the pandemic.

Over his tenure, Adams has rolled back nearly all remaining COVID-era restrictions like masking and vaccine mandates. Last month, he ended the vaccine mandate for public sector workers.

“The COVID-19 emergency took a devastating toll on our city and on all of us, in ways seen and unseen, felt and yet-to-be felt,” said Ashwin Vasan, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner.

“Each life lost is a mother, a father, a child, or a loved one who is still missed and still mourned.”

COVID is trending down from a January spike in infections, according to Health Department data. As of March 11, an average of three New Yorkers died of the virus per day, 24 people were hospitalized and more than 470 new infections were detected.

The federal COVID emergency will end in May, marking an end to the most dire phase of the pandemic.

In 2021, the city honored those who died due to COVID with a memorial show that featured pictures of those passed projected onto the Brooklyn Bridge. Last year, City Hall and other major municipal buildings lit up in amber lights to commemorate the anniversary. No such celebrations are planned for this year.

Approximately 99 percent of adult New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

©2023 New York Daily News. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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