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

Coronavirus
COVID-19 vaccine site in the Bronx

Seniors wait in the recovery area after receiving the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site at the Bronx River Community Center, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK — Find the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic in New York state and New York City, including data on positive cases and other indicators, and information from local officials.

Daily Indicators

  • NY positivity rate: 3.62%
    • Total test reported: 146,456
    • Total positive: 5,309
  • NY COVID-19 hospitalizations: 4,830
  • COVID-19 fatalities in NY: 65

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

Vaccine updates

  • Gov. Cuomo announces that 10 new state-run vaccination sites will open across New York in coming weeks, including a Bronx site and several on Long Island. See the full list here.

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

NYC vaccines

  • 2,325,8
  • 11 total doses administered 
  • Vaccinating homebound New Yorkers: Goal up to 2,700 vaccinations per week with City program and private providers
    • There are 14,000-23,000 fully homebound NYers
    • Goal is to vaccinate full population in seven weeks

Reopening in NYC

  • High schools reopening for in-person learning March 22. Read more
  • School sports are coming back
  • All sports to return mid-April with strict protocols
  • Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter: With a .57 positivity rate, our schools are the safest
  • About half high schools will offer in-person learning 5 days a week to all or a majority of their students

COVID day of remembrance

  • On Sunday, we will remember the people we lost

Daily indicators

  • COVID Hospitalizations: 270 (65% positivity rate)
  • Hospitalization rate per 100,000, 7-day average (NYS): 3.97
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average (including probable cases): 3,213
  • 7-day rolling average: 6.23%

Q&A

  • Only 55,000 high schoolers (20%) will return to in-person learning. With more vaccinations, will you allow another opt-in period?
    • Yes, but not right now. We’re in constant conversation as we’re monitoring variants and cases. It’s certainly an option, but not at this moment. 
  • Governor not resigning: What do you think about those who laugh at the idea of you running for governor?
    • I’m focused on what’s happening now (NYC reopening) What’s happening now in Albany is sad.
  • Opt-in window for schools now. Is the variant the only concern? 
    • We gave parents the opportunity to opt-in during the school year and later too. We needed to give them as many days in school as possible. That’s how we structured this. Hospitalizations and cases are still high, so we can’t take this virus seriously.  We’re not going to do it until we know we’re safe. 
  • Given the vast majority of students are learning remotely, what is the status of the city’s efforts to improve remote instruction
    • Mayor: We’ve talked about it in many pressers. School by school, teacher by teacher, we’re working to improve the remote instruction process. What we really need is to get all our kids back in September.
    • Chancellor: We are working how to leverage what we learned during remote instruction and thinking about how to use that as an innovative practice for the next school year.
  • Variants and what research has been done. Is there another NY variant?
    • Dr. Jay Varma: Viruses mutate all the time. The priority is to make sure people don’t get infected. Mutations arise all the time, which is why it’ll get more confusing. It’s important for people to be aware of variants, but people need to double down on what they’re doing. We’re actively researching the variants in NYC. All interventions we can take are important. 
    • Dr. Dave Chokshi: There are three variants of concern from what’s been investigated globally (The UK, South African and Brazilian variants) we’re actively looking for all three of those. We also anticipate having more info on science being done on the NY variant at some time this week. Researchers trying to figure out key questions 
  • Have you identified a second variant? Will social distancing be enforced when schools reopen in September?
    • Dr. Chokshi: There are multiple variants being looked into a lot. Within the NY variant. There are some mutations that are not concerning, and other that are
    • Schools reopening: We want every student back in classrooms. Goal is to have them just remote or just in-person. It’ll be a much better situation come September, especially with vaccinations. 
  • Education and quarantine policies — The CDC has updated length of quarantine, has the DOE changed it? 
    • When the CDC moved to 10 days, we moved it to 10 days too.
  • With students returning — how prepared is the city to support these students emotionally/mentally?
    • Mental health is important. We’re going to check in with these students and provide mental health support when needed, educators will be ready to support too.
    • Chancellor: Schools are already working to make sure students have one-to-one check ins and counseling. There are so many things happening in schools. 
  • Juniors and seniors — how will you make sure these students are on track to graduate and how are you supporting them?
    • Chancellor: College advisors are meeting with students now to ensure they’re being helped now. The same with juniors who have to deal with this next year. 
    • Guidance counseling and college advising doesn’t stop. That’s from the application process to how are we connecting to schools 
  • School athletics will reopen with proper safety and health protocols. Can you clarify them?
    • Mayor: The key is gold standard — everything we do in the classroom and sports (Mask wearing, no crowds and audiences initially, a lot of indoor activities will move outdoors) 
    • Dr. Chokshi: The core four (masking, distancing, washing hands, staying home if ill) getting tested and avoid indoor gatherings. 
  • Reopening in NYC
    • Everyone’s been doing the right thing with guidelines. 
  • Long Lines and overcrowding — How do you fix that problem so when they come back for a second shot, it’ll be a smoother process?
    • Every week, our team has learned more and more. We’re absolutely confident we can do 500K shots a week. As we get supply, we can spread out the demand and have people not deal with delays. 
    • Dr. Mitchell Katz: With second doses, we know more and can plan more. With first doses, we’re not sure about how many doses are going to be received at a site in particular and such.

The latest official numbers:

As of Monday, there were 1,686,478 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March 2020 and 39,094 lab-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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