Shortly after acknowledging the second year since New York City’s first reported COVID-19 death, the city has reported 40,000 total since the start of the pandemic.

“Today, we mourn the nearly 40,000 New Yorkers who lost their lives because of COVID-19,” Mayor Eric Adams said. “As we work to recover and rebuild New York City, we must remember those that we have lost, and carry on their stories. We will never forget their names, their faces, or the ways they have shaped this great city, and we recommit ourselves, in their memories, to remake our city into one that is more just, equitable and resilient.”

The New York Times reports that around 87% of New York City is fully vaccinated. According to the city’s former health commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi, the vaccine saved around “48,000 lives", with "​​over 300,000 hospitalizations averted and about 1.9 million cases prevented.”

As the Omicron subvariant, known as BA.2, begins to spread rapidly around the world, WPIX-TV reports that coronavirus infections increased by more than double this week in the city. BA.2 makes up 25% of all cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A study released by the CDC discovered that the Omicron variant led to a higher rate of hospitalization in children below the age of 4, which was five times higher than the spread of the Delta variant.

“COVID-19 can cause severe illness in infants and children,” the CDC said. “COVID-19–associated hospitalization rates increased rapidly among infants and children aged 0–4 years, a group not yet eligible for vaccination.”