In what was a usually 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 threat stage for the coronavirus, Mr. Adams didn’t maintain any public occasions to warn residents concerning the surge in instances.

Mr. Adams has insisted that he wouldn’t convey again masks and vaccine mandates and would as an alternative concentrate on 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, whilst instances and hospitalizations rise once more, these cities might resemble the remainder of the nation by specializing in a return to normalcy and private accountability.

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

“I believe that the explanation we’re right here and we’re not seeing drastic actions is as a result of we’ve completed a tremendous job of telling individuals — vaccines, boosters,” Mr. Adams mentioned at a latest information convention. “After 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 components: He has not referred to as for mandates as a result of hospitalizations and deaths have risen extra slowly than in earlier waves, due to a attainable political price 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 consultants have criticized the mayor’s method and concern that letting the virus unfold broadly might damage the town’s most susceptible residents. They imagine the town ought to convey again masks and vaccine mandates, however acknowledge that it will be politically troublesome to take action.

Town is now logging more than 4,000 cases per day, a determine that’s possible a lot larger as a result of most residence exams are usually not counted within the official tally. As of Tuesday, greater than 770 individuals 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 convey again mandates except the hospital system was reaching a “state of emergency,” or trending in that path. The brand new alert system Mr. Adams permitted in March recommends instituting a masks mandate for public indoor settings on the present threat stage.

Well being consultants 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, help bringing again a masks mandate for many public indoor settings.

“I need this to be a metropolis that may activate and off protecting measures after we hit a surge,” Mr. Levine mentioned. “I wish to see us do extra and push more durable proper now.”

On a name on Thursday with Anne Williams-Isom, considered one of Mr. Adams’s deputy mayors, neighborhood teams and incapacity advocates expressed sturdy help 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 concentrate on 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 just lately examined optimistic for the virus, has saved 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 an extra political calculation — she is in the midst of her marketing campaign for a full time period as governor and wishes help from extra conservative corners of the state.

Many enterprise leaders help 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 could be a blow to the restoration but in addition appears pointless at this level.”

Town’s well being commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, issued an order on Monday strongly recommending that every one residents put on medical-grade masks in places of work, grocery shops, colleges 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 in the course of 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 sturdy instruments out there,” Mr. de Blasio mentioned in a radio interview last week. “You might want them actual quickly.”

Mr. de Blasio, who oversaw the town’s response in the course of the worst waves of the virus, held near-daily digital virus briefings, typically inviting exterior well being consultants like Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medication on the Columbia Mailman Faculty of Public Well being, and Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious illness professional at New York College. He rolled out a number of the most aggressive well being measures within the nation, together with a vaccine mandate for metropolis employees 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 top of the town’s hospital system; Ms. Williams-Isom, deputy mayor for well being and human providers; Dan Weisberg, first deputy colleges 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 most recent 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 instances within the metropolis, elected officers and New Yorkers usually had “collective amnesia” about the best way to reply.

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

Some well being consultants agreed that it will be troublesome at this level within the pandemic to reinstate broad mandates except the well being system turned significantly 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 will not be fastidiously defined.

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

Credit score…Dave Sanders for The New York Instances

In need of mandates, a number of consultants mentioned, the Adams administration ought to be doing extra to persuade individuals 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 might concentrate on the significance of sporting masks to guard the susceptible, the dangers of lengthy Covid or the elevated threat of cardiovascular disease after Covid-19.

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

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 acquired a booster dose.

New Yorkers who’ve disabilities and weakened immune methods fear that the town’s new method will not be protecting them protected. Emily Ladau, a incapacity rights advocate who lives on Lengthy Island and continuously visits the town, mentioned that few individuals are sporting 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 ought to be that tough to place a masks on and shield the individuals round you.”

Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Otterman and Dana Rubinstein contributed reporting.