Another day has passed with the same dangerously dense haze that is preventing millions of people from going about their everyday lives, covering up cityscapes, and coloring the skies orange.
As projections indicated that winds will continue to bring smoke-filled air south from the Canadian wildfires, officials in New York City and the Tri-State region issued new air quality alerts Thursday, advising residents to limit or avoid outdoor activities.
The largest school district in New Jersey, Newark Public Schools, along with a few other districts, closed for the day. The closure of public schools in New York City on Thursday and Friday was already planned.
N95 masks, which were widely used during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, will soon be made available at a million state facilities, including 400,000 in New York City, according to New York Governor Kathy Hochul. She also asked the populace to remain put.
The Air Quality Index Reached 484
Perhaps the message is getting across. According to officials, New York City has not yet experienced a rise in 911 calls for cardiac arrests and respiratory problems. The Air Quality Alert was described by Mayor Eric Adams as an unprecedented event in our city and New Yorkers must take precautions.
He reported that on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., the Air Quality Index reached 484; the maximum value is 500. According to the government's air quality index, anything beyond 300 is "hazardous." For sections of the Tri-State region, including New York City, the National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Alert through Thursday.
On Thursday, the city will not be hosting any outdoor events, and alternate side parking will not be permitted. Residents in the area are being urged by health officials to avoid outdoor activities because the air quality is predicted to stay "unhealthy" to "very unhealthy." Masks will be made available at police and fire stations, according to Adams.