Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Monday, February 8, 2021

Virus Outbreak New York

Patrons wait in line for a supermarket Thursday, April 2, 2020, in the Corona section of the Queens borough of New York. Data released by city health officials show that residents in the immigrant-rich Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona sections of Queens have tested positive for the coronavirus at higher rates than in wealthy, mostly white parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

NEW YORK — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New York. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

11:30 a.m.
Gov. Cuomo held a briefing with the latest on COVID-19 in New York. Watch here now or in video below.

Breaking updates:

  • Indoor dining will now return in NYC on Friday, Feb. 12, at 25% capacity – not on Valentine’s day, as originally planned, Cuomo announced. Read more here.

Daily COVID-19 indicators:

  • Statewide positivity rate: 4.28%
    • Total tests reported: 197,18
  • Total deaths Sunday: 114
  • Statewide hospitalizations: 7,716 (+67)
    • ICU patients: 1,454 (-5)
    • Intubations: 961 (-18)

NY PopsUp

  • Cuomo announced initiative to accelerate the restoration of culture, arts and creative energy with pop-up events. Read More.
    • 300+ pop-up art events across NY state
    • 100 days of free, pop-up performances coming to local areas
    • Will launch on Feb. 20 with a special performance at the Javits Center in Manhattan, as a special tribute to health-care workers
      • Opening weekend lineup: Jon Baptiste, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Ayodele Casel
    • These will be live, in-person events that will also be shown online
    • Imitative and events organized by Council of Artistic Advisors
    • The model that NY PopsUp builds for holding safe, live events will pave the way for the reopening of flexible venues to participate in the festival, including:
      • The Shed
      • The Apollo
      • Harlem Stage
      • La Mama
      • The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater
    • Will culminate with two major events this summer: The opening of Little Island @Pier55 and the 20th anniversary year of the Tribeca Film Festival
    • Some of the performers and artists taking part in these events:

Vaccine updates:

  • Cuomo said 90% of all allocated first doses from weeks 1 – 8 are now in arms of New Yorkers
  • 2,465,292 total doses given so far in NY
    • 1,855,779 first doses; 609,513 second doses
  • NYS Health Department will soon begin reviewing slow-vaccinating hospitals across the state to find out why there are disparities
  • People with comorbidities can begin making vaccine appointments at NY mass-vaccination sites on Feb. 14, for appointments beginning Feb. 15.
    • Local health departments determine how, where and when to schedule appointments in their jurisdictions.
    • These comorbidities will be validated:
      • Doctor’s letter, OR
      • Medical information evidencing comorbidity, OR
      • Signed certification (options up to local government)
      • State will audit local systems with Tiberius federal data
      • NYS Health Department will hold a call with county executives/local health departments on this validation system

10 a.m.
Mayor Bill de Blasio shared the latest on the city’s COVID-19 response. Watch in video below or click here.

NYC Vaccines

  • 997,844 total doses administered
  • Wednesday, Feb. 10: Citi Field will open as vaccination sits
  • Half reserve for TLC licensees and food delivery workers, half reserved for eligible Queens residents

NYC schools update

  • Grades 6-8 in-person learning
    • Teachers and staff return Wednesday, Feb. 24
    • Students return: Thursday, Feb. 25
  • Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza: more staff for situation room
  • Beginning Feb. 23: 3K and pre-K for all applications will be open. Families can apply:

Supporting arts and culture

  • Curtains Up NYC
    • Grants up to $10M
    • For qualified live performance and movie theater venues, organizations and workers
    • Free webinars, 1-on-1 counseling to help local live performance industry get federal money

Daily indicators

  • COVID Hospitalizations: 220 (71% positivity rate)
  • Hospitalization rate per 100,000, 7-day average (NYS): 5.07
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average (including probable cases): 3,491
  • 7-day rolling average: 8.28%


  • Prioritizing middle school educator for vaccination — there’s still a delay before it fully protects them. What do you say to educators about going back before they’re fully vaccinated.
    • The gold standard of safety measures is priority. It’s been proven they’ll enter in a safe environment.
    • Continue to follow guidance that’s going out.
  • Variants: Some precautions may not be safe to protect on some variants
    • Efforts for foundational safety efforts to work
    • Dr. Jay Varma: Obviously we’re concerned and want to be vigilant. A lot of concerns extends to Europe and when variants took over, schools had to close. — there were no European countries that enacted strict protocols like we do here.
  • How many middle schools will return to five-day-a-week learning right away?
    • This is something that keeps evolving.
    • Chancellor: Of 471 middle schools, about half will open on the 25th offering 5-day-a-week instruction. Other middle schools will reprogram to get to the goal of five days a week.
  • Boosting testing supply and staffing in situation school
    • Mayor: We’ve been building testing for months. The situation room has been crucial. We do have the capacity to meet our needs.
    • Dr. Ted Long: Across the board, testing capacity has been building. About 120,000 tests can be conducted on a given day.
  • What proof will be required for food-service workers who work off the books to get vaccinated at Citi Field.
    • We want to make sure people do have proof. We’re going to have checks and balances in place for that.
  • In December, the Health commissioner issued an advisory for people with health conditions or those 65 and older to stay home. Will you change it for those who vaccinated?
    • We need to be careful in this atmosphere where a lot of people are still dealing with COVID. We need to not let down our guard. Until we get a well down the road (no earlier than June) We’ll stick with the precautions we have now.
    • Dr. Mitchell Katz: Getting vaccinated does matter. Those who get vaccinated– they can see others who have gotten vaccinated. If they go out, continue to mask up and have proper precautions.
    • Dr. Jay Varma: We have a recommendation for today, but we’re also going to have a recommendation that will change in the near future.
    • It does take 10-14 days after the second dose to develop immunity. It is likely in the near future that we can alter the recommendation as more people are vaccinated.
  • What changed in the middle schools — why can they reopen? What were the factors and why not high schools?
    • Mayor: High schools are a more complex situation, but we want to get them back this school year.
    • With middle schools, we had the pieces to reopen. It’s also about our kids. Our kids need to be in school.
  • Problems with vaccine supply: Are you still a firm believer of making second doses first doses?
    • Yes. Making sure everyone gets a first dose is imperative. Holding back artificially is a mistake.
  • Situation room and hiring figures
    • We have the capacity to hire people for the situation room.
    • With testing, we have the capacity to devote to middle schools.
  • In for full reopening of schools in the fall — what does that mean exactly? Will there still be an option for all-remote next fall?
    • Hoping for five-day-a-week all in-person education. Goal in June is to get 5 million people vaccinated. If we’re in an environment where the city is overwhelmingly vaccinated, we can bring schools back (with important precautions in place) when we get closer, we’ll decide if a remote piece needs to be in place
    • Chancellor: The notion of remote and electronic learning will stay with us well beyond the pandemic. IT provides students with enhanced learning.
  • Will students be given another chance to opt-in this year?
    • For middle grades, they had an opt-in period in November. That opt-in will be honored now. In turns of further opt-ins, it’ll determine on situations moving forward (vaccine, cases, etc.) but we’re not there yet.
  • How long do teachers’ medical accommodations last? (Those who chose not to get vaccinated or are not ready to go back)
    • It’s February. September is a long way away. We’re going to be sensitive to educators and families who still have concerns. The bottom line is we need to bring our schools back full strength.
  • City data: Racial disparities among groups in vaccines — How do you feel the city is handling it now?
    • You can get the vaccine regardless of if you have health insurance or not.
    • We want to move more and more outreach to areas with more hesitancy. If there’s something in the application form that throws people off, we’ll address it.
    • Dr. Katz: WIth NYC Care, we can offer everyone in NYC a primary care doctor ro a place to get health help.

NYC Schools Update:
The city’s public middle schools will reopen later this month. Read more.

7 a.m.
A man in his 70s died shortly after being vaccinated Sunday at Manhattan’s Javits Center, state health officials confirmed. They said they do not believe it was due to an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Read full story here.

The latest official numbers:
As of Monday, there were 1,479,220 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March and 36,339 confirmed fatalities, according to the state Department of Health.

COVID-19 timeline: How novel coronavirus spread

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

The New York state coronavirus hotline is 1-888-364-3065; information is also being posted here

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