New York has been at the frontline in the struggle against the Omicron variant of COVID-19, concerned that its contagiousness would undo the progress it made against earlier strains. Now, state officials are touting what they hope is a turn in the road against Omicron. 

On Tuesday, New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams appeared at a press conference to issue an update on his administration’s handling of the pandemic. Speaking to the assembled reporters, Adams proclaimed that the city appears to be gaining the upper hand in the struggle and that New Yorkers can begin to breathe a little easier.

“Let’s be clear on this,” Adams said. “We are winning and we are going to win because we are resilient.”

The mayor’s optimism is not without reason. On Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul’s office released its latest COVID-19 data that showed the total number of cases in New York there were just over 204,000 tests conducted statewide, with a positivity rate of 13.12%, the lowest since any day since Christmas.  

City data also showed that the daily average in positive COVID-19 cases was 21.29%, lower than the 32.51% recorded in the last month. Hospitalizations meanwhile fell to a weekly average of 496 cases versus the 712 recorded in the previous 28 days. These figures placed the five boroughs at the second-lowest positivity rate of any county in the state.

“The COVID forecast is improving … the COVID clouds are parting," Hochul said on Sunday. “Overall, the prognosis, the forecast, for COVID is much brighter than it had been before.”

During the waning days of 2021 and the initial days of the new year, New York officials were sounding the alarm over Omicron.

In one of his last acts before leaving office, former Mayor Bill de Blasio announced tightened COVID-19 vaccination regulations that would require city residents as young as five years old to show proof that they received at least one dose of a vaccine in order to enter many city venues. He also called on President Joe Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to direct more supplies of testing kits to New York.

Adams has made clear his determination to fight the virus without enacting dramatic new restrictions for New Yorkers. He has been vocal that Omicron is something that should be taken seriously, but insisted that New Yorkers be ready to adapt to new strains rather than be set back each time with restrictions.