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New York Health Commissioner Tests Positive For Coronavirus, has Mild Symptoms


Dave Chokshi . (NYC Mayor’s Office)

NEW YORK, NY — The doctor who heads New York City’s health efforts against the coronavirus fell ill with the very virus he’s fighting.

Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.

He said his diagnosis underscored that the coronavirus continues to circulate and everyone is potentially exposed to the virus.

“I now have mild symptoms, but they are manageable,” Chokshi said in a statement. “I have been in touch with New York City’s Test and Trace Corps to ensure that anyone who was potentially exposed is offered services and care.

Chokshi often features prominently in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daily briefings, where he offers perspective on the city’s coronavirus fight.

On Wednesday, Chokshi was absent while de Blasio offered an update on his health commissioner’s condition.

“He’s doing well, his family is doing well,” de Blasio said of Chokshi.

De Blasio faced several questions about the vaccination status of both Chokshi and other prominent city officials, himself included.

Chokshi hadn’t yet been vaccinated, said Jay Varma, the mayor’s senior health advisor.

Varma said Chokshi and himself had repeatedly discussed the ethics of themselves receiving the COVID-19 vaccine while frontline health workers and vulnerable New Yorkers still await their potentially life-saving shots.

They both opted to wait their turn in line because they don’t have direct patient care responsibilities, he said.

“Dave had not yet been vaccinated and he had a plan to get vaccinated after he had done the requisite number of shifts in vaccine clinic, which is the criteria that we’re using for all city employees who want to get vaccinated if they’re not already in a priority group,” Varma said.

De Blasio said he too is waiting his turn for the vaccine, based on the federal and state priority lists.

“We’re all waiting until our turn comes up,” he said.

Chokshi, in his statement, repeated advice he often gives New Yorkers to help avoid the coronavirus.

“This is a reminder – if we ever needed one – that COVID is still with us and we all must continue to wear masks, wash our hands, socially distance and stay home if feeling ill,” he said.

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