Health officials are once again monitoring an increase in COVID-19 cases in New York City, as some neighborhoods have a positivity rate as high as 23% and new variants continue to spread.

"The question is whether we are reaching a new plateau and this is just where we will be for sometime, or whether this is the beginning of a more prolonged increase," said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, the commissioner of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, at an unrelated press conference. "And I think it's still a little too early to tell."

In April, the positive case rate was just above 3%, city officials said. Now the city averages 13% positive.

The commissioner noted that although some in-person sites will be closing as early as next week, at-home testing kits and other monitoring will allow the city to continue to track health conditions.

Vasan spoke from the groundbreaking for a new public health lab at Harlem Hospital - located in a neighborhood that has had an increase in cases.