In what was a sometimes busy week for Mayor Eric Adams, he met with the mannequin Gigi Hadid at Netflix’s studio in Brooklyn. He visited a school to advertise a brand new diploma in online game design. And he visited the State Capitol in Albany to push for the renewal of mayoral management of colleges.

However as New York Metropolis entered the excessive danger stage for the coronavirus, Mr. Adams didn’t maintain any public occasions to warn residents concerning the surge in circumstances.

Mr. Adams has insisted that he wouldn’t deliver again masks and vaccine mandates and would as a substitute give attention to antiviral therapies and at-home testing.

Whereas many American cities way back jettisoned public well being precautions, New York Metropolis and different Democrat-led cities like Los Angeles and Philadelphia had taken a extra cautious method to combating waves of the virus. Now, at the same time as circumstances and hospitalizations rise once more, these cities could resemble the remainder of the nation by specializing in a return to normalcy and private accountability.

In New York, moderately than elevating alarm concerning the metropolis’s heightened danger stage, Mr. Adams has repeatedly emphasised that his an infection in April was gentle, partially as a result of he took the antiviral Paxlovid.

“I feel that the explanation we’re right here and we aren’t seeing drastic actions is as a result of we’ve carried out an incredible job of telling folks — vaccines, boosters,” Mr. Adams mentioned at a latest information convention. “Once I was hit with Covid, it was only a tickle in my throat. I used to be nonetheless in a position to train, didn’t have any respiratory points, no ache.”

Mr. Adams, a Democrat who took workplace in January, seems to be weighing a number of elements: He has not known as for mandates as a result of hospitalizations and deaths have risen extra slowly than in earlier waves, due to a potential political value to embracing restrictions which have fatigued the general public, and since he’s involved concerning the influence on eating places, tourism and the town’s financial comeback.

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However some well being specialists have criticized the mayor’s method and concern that letting the virus unfold broadly may damage the town’s most susceptible residents. They imagine the town ought to deliver again masks and vaccine mandates, however acknowledge that it will be politically tough to take action.

The town is now logging more than 4,000 cases per day, a determine that’s doubtless a lot greater as a result of most residence checks should not counted within the official tally. As of Tuesday, greater than 770 folks within the metropolis had been hospitalized with Covid and 84 had been in I.C.U.s.

Mr. Adams mentioned this week that he didn’t plan to deliver again mandates until the hospital system was reaching a “state of emergency,” or trending in that path. The brand new alert system Mr. Adams accredited in March recommends instituting a masks mandate for public indoor settings on the present danger stage.

Well being specialists have argued that waiting until hospitals and health workers are overwhelmed would be too late. Some elected officers like Mark Levine, the Manhattan borough president, assist bringing again a masks mandate for many public indoor settings.

“I would like this to be a metropolis that may activate and off protecting measures once we hit a surge,” Mr. Levine mentioned. “I wish to see us do extra and push tougher proper now.”

On a name on Thursday with Anne Williams-Isom, one in every of Mr. Adams’s deputy mayors, neighborhood teams and incapacity advocates expressed robust assist for a masks mandate for indoor areas, in line with somebody who participated within the name. Ms. Williams-Isom mentioned she would convey their message to the mayor.

Mr. Adams’s method mirrors the tone of different leaders like Gov. Kathy Hochul and President Biden who’re keen to maneuver previous the pandemic and to give attention to financial restoration. Gov. Philip D. Murphy in New Jersey has additionally resisted bringing again mandates and eliminated a masks mandate on New Jersey Transit trains that journey into the town.

Ms. Hochul, who not too long ago examined optimistic for the virus, has stored a masks mandate on public transit in place, however she has not set broader restrictions regardless of a major surge in upstate New York. Ms. Hochul faces a further political calculation — she is in the course of her marketing campaign for a full time period as governor and wishes assist from extra conservative corners of the state.

Many enterprise leaders assist the mayor’s method, together with Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York Metropolis, an influential enterprise group.

“New Yorkers have demonstrated that they’ve the nice sense to observe security protocols, together with masks the place it’s acceptable,” she mentioned. “To reverse progress made on reopening the town can be a blow to the restoration but in addition appears pointless at this level.”

The town’s well being commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, issued an order on Monday strongly recommending that each one residents put on medical-grade masks in places of work, grocery shops, faculties and different public indoor settings citywide. A day later, he introduced that the town had hit the excessive alert stage, which was triggered by rising hospital admissions.

Mr. Adams mentioned the town was settling right into a “new norm” as variants arrive.

“If each variant that comes, we transfer into shutdown ideas, we transfer into panicking, we’re not going to perform as a metropolis,” Mr. Adams mentioned on Wednesday.

Credit score…Dave Sanders for The New York Instances

However former Mayor Invoice de Blasio and his well being commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi, who stayed on throughout the first months of the Adams administration and crafted the brand new alert system in March, have made public feedback encouraging Mr. Adams to be ready to return to mandates.

“I’d say this as a pleasant reminder to maintain these robust instruments accessible,” Mr. de Blasio mentioned in a radio interview last week. “It’s possible you’ll want them actual quickly.”

Mr. de Blasio, who oversaw the town’s response throughout the worst waves of the virus, held near-daily digital virus briefings, typically inviting outdoors well being specialists like Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medication on the Columbia Mailman College of Public Well being, and Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious illness professional at New York College. He rolled out a few of the most aggressive well being measures within the nation, together with a vaccine mandate for metropolis staff and personal employers that’s nonetheless in impact.

Mr. Adams has relied on a handful of key advisers to kind his virus response: Dr. Vasan, an epidemiologist who previously led a psychological well being nonprofit; Dr. Mitchell Katz, the pinnacle of the town’s hospital system; Ms. Williams-Isom, deputy mayor for well being and human providers; Dan Weisberg, first deputy faculties chancellor; and Dr. Ted Lengthy, government director of the town’s check and hint corps. The group meets practically each morning on a digital name to debate the newest knowledge.

Mr. Adams mentioned that the message from hospital and faculty leaders was clear: “They’re all saying the identical factor. They are saying, ‘Hear, we received this. We’re not overwhelmed.’”

However Dr. Chokshi, the previous well being commissioner, said in a recent interview that in every new wave of circumstances within the metropolis, elected officers and New Yorkers typically had “collective amnesia” about methods to reply.

“Individuals would say, ‘Effectively, it’s solely circumstances growing, let’s see what occurs to hospitalizations,’” he mentioned. “To me, as somebody who’s steeped on this, and notably to grasp the epidemiology, it’s onerous to not have your head explode whenever you really feel the general public, and in lots of circumstances, the political dialog, go in these circles. And also you’re like, ‘Wow, when are we going to study.’”

Some well being specialists agreed that it will be tough at this level within the pandemic to reinstate broad mandates until the well being system turned severely overtaxed. On the identical time, having an alert system however not following by way of on its suggestions can confuse the general public and weaken belief, notably if the change shouldn’t be rigorously defined.

“It completely is sensible to choose a set of indicators and use that to determine what steps you’ll take,” mentioned Dr. Jay Varma, who served as a senior well being adviser to Mr. de Blasio. “There’s worth to placing out a climate report, however you must be clear about the way you’re utilizing it.”

Credit score…Dave Sanders for The New York Instances

Wanting mandates, a number of specialists mentioned, the Adams administration needs to be doing extra to persuade folks of the gravity of the present second, even amongst these vaccinated and never personally afraid of dying from the virus. For instance, a refreshed public well being marketing campaign may give attention to the significance of carrying masks to guard the susceptible, the dangers of lengthy Covid or the elevated danger of cardiovascular disease after Covid-19.

Mr. Adams has targeted on providing free residence supply of antiviral medicines like Paxlovid and distributing hundreds of thousands of residence checks to public faculty college students and at libraries and museums. His administration says it has distributed 35,000 antiviral treatments, which have prevented practically 2,000 hospitalizations.

The town has led the nation in vaccination rates, however booster charges have stalled. An estimated 88 % of adults within the metropolis are absolutely vaccinated; solely 46 % have obtained a booster dose.

New Yorkers who’ve disabilities and weakened immune methods fear that the town’s new method shouldn’t be maintaining them protected. Emily Ladau, a incapacity rights advocate who lives on Lengthy Island and regularly visits the town, mentioned that few individuals are carrying masks as a result of the mayor had not clearly delivered the message that they’re essential.

“There’s an enormous distinction between masking and a lockdown,” she mentioned. “I don’t suppose it needs to be that tough to place a masks on and shield the folks round you.”

Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Otterman and Dana Rubinstein contributed reporting.