NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams marked three years since the first recorded death of a New York City resident from COVID-19 on Tuesday.
The mayor also paid tribute to the more than 45,000 New Yorkers who died from the virus in the years since.
"COVID-19 devastated our city, our families, and our lives," Mayor Adams said. "Today, as we mark three years since we recorded the loss of the first New Yorker to the pandemic, we pause to recognize the pain the past three years have brought, as well as remember the 45,000 lives lost since March 2020 in our city. Despite being the epicenter of this once-in-a-century pandemic, New Yorkers did what we always do - we got up. New York City mounted a brave collective response, driving down COVID-19 rates through multiple waves by getting vaccinated in record numbers - saving lives, and coming back stronger than ever. During this somber moment of reflection, we not only remember the thousands we can no longer hold tight, but we offer our gratitude to the millions of New Yorkers who stepped up heroically throughout this chapter of our shared history. I continue to encourage all to continue to get vaccinated and boosted."
"The COVID-19 emergency took a devastating toll on our city and on all of us, in ways seen and unseen, felt and yet-to-be felt," said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "Each life lost is a mother, a father, a child, or a loved one who is still missed and still mourned. And each life impacted is one we recommit to keeping safe, whether through continued COVID protections and vaccination, supporting them through the challenges of long COVID, or through mental health supports to address trauma and grief. We honor the memories of those lost by redoubling our efforts to keep ourselves, our communities, and each other healthy and safe."
The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on New York City with a total of more than 3.2 million cases, 211,000 hospitalizations, and 45,000 confirmed and probable deaths since March 2020.
The city says it also waged a collective response with millions of New Yorkers masking and practicing social distancing when necessary - driving down COVID-19 rates through multiple waves - as well as getting vaccinated in record numbers as part of the largest vaccination campaign in the city's history.
Approximately 99% of adult New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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