Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Thursday, February 25, 2021

Coronavirus
Virus Outbreak New York

A sign demonstrating the distance people should keep from each other during the coronavirus outbreak in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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.

Gov. Cuomo shared the latest COVID-19 information for New York

Daily Indicators

  • NY positivity rate: 3.14%
  • NY COVID-19 hospitalizations: 5,703
    • ICU: 1,124
    • Intubated: 774
  • COVID-19 fatalities in NY: 89

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

Schools in NYC

  • City welcomed back middle school students Thursday
  • Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza: It’s an important reminder why we reopen schools for in-person learning.
  • Over 30,000 of educators have received the vaccine.
  • Latest weekly positivity rate in schools: 0.58%
  • 1,203 schools open for in-person learning.

Recovery for us all

  • 1,614,585 total doses administered
  • More vaccines
    • Adding overnight shifts to Bathgate in the bronx and Citi Field in Queens
    • Doubling appointments at Teachers’ Prep and Martin Van Buren
    • Opening pop-up sites at First Corinthians Baptist Church in East Harlem and Mill Basin
  • Make appointment: NYC.gov/Vax4NYC
  • Bringing vaccines closer to communities
    • Plan with NAN and Choose Health Life
    • Bringing pop-up vaccine clinics to 10 churches and faith organizations

Daily indicators

  • COVID Hospitalizations: 259 (68% positivity rate)
  • Hospitalization rate per 100,000, 7-day average (NYS): 4.15
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average (including probable cases): 3,158
  • 7-day rolling average: 7.12%

Q&A

  • Vaccine sites that were set up for home health aides and people from the area. Some people were not from that area or home health aides. Is there anything the city can do to actually make sure prioritized people are getting the shot?
    • We give priority to make sure we’re reaching people in greatest need. We obviously don’t turn people away who need the shot from other communities.
    • Dr. Mitchell Katz: The goal of setting up these centers is to make sure people are getting vaccinated. There’s a lot of pent-up demands. There’s no bad vaccination, but we want to work hard to prioritize those who need it.
    • Dr. Dave Chokshi: Access is the first step. Putting the sites in places that’ll most benefit. But we know that’s only the first step. Working closely with community-based organizations and faith leaders to target certain priority groups.
  • Reaction on allegations of Cuomo sexual harassment made by Lindsey Boylan. What should happen at this moment?
    • These allegations are disturbing. We have to take this seriously. We need a full and independent investigation.
  • Priority zip codes for vaccines — they’re low vaccination rate areas. Why isn’t there a connection between some of these neighborhoods?
    • I don’t want there to be a misinformation. When we defined, based on experience, the sharp disparities where the impact had been most and the past disparities. We try to focus on places where the impact was the worst because that’s the area we most have to have lives. When we get the supply we need, we’ll do more vaccinations and open more sites.
  • Partial opening of movie theaters/wedding venues: This is a densely populated city + the variants, isn’t this of concern?
    • Mayor: I’m definitely concerned about the variants. The state is making the decisions. I think we should go back to normal governance, but so long as the state is making the decisions, we’re doing what we can to make sure our area is safe. If we’re seeing something from data and science not working, we’re going to do something about it.
    • Dr. Jay Varma: There’s a gap in scientific reporting. People are translating what they’re finding in the lab into humans. The two vaccines and the J&J vaccine are incredibly effective in preventing severe illness.
  • Variant: What should NYers think and feel when they’re reading these news. How should they act based on what they know etc.
    • Dr. Varma: What New Yorkers need to do is continue to follow guidance and protocols. Persistence. You need to be skeptical of what you’re reading. Some variants are of concern, some are not.
  • Variant: How prevalent these new variants are, where we’re seeing clusters and are they what’s causing the infection rate in the city to go down at a slower rate.
    • Our difference from the rest of the country aside from being one of the most densely populated cities, we’re testing much more and getting a truer measure of what’s happening.
    • Dr. Chokshi: We don’t have any evidence at this point that the variant is concentrated in certain parts of the city. The science around it is less established. As we get new info, they remain quite exploratory.
  • NYPD Chief Terry Monahan’s reported retirement: Will he remain in an advisory role?
    • We’re going to have a bonus presser around 12 noon, speaking about important developments at the NYPD.
  • Academic and emotional status of students
    • We’ve trained teachers and educators and it’ll only ramp up in the fall. Teachers know their students most.
  • Assessments and testing
    • We are much more focused on formative assessments and seeing where children are behind. We know children have fallen behind due to COVID. As an educator, there is an opt-out. We don’t want to impose additional trauma to students.
  • Johnson & Johnson shown to be less effective than the other two. Is a risk we’re giving homebound seniors something “less effective?”
    • No. What matters most is to protect their life.
    • Dr. Katz: What we care about is preventing serious hospitalizations and deaths. The J&J vaccines are just as effective and are single-shots and require easier refrigeration.
  • Wouldn’t one pfizer/moderna shot be just as effective, if not more than J&J, why not do that?
    • We want to get to homebound seniors. We have a vaccine that’ll protect their lives. Pfizer/Moderna require more refrigeration challenges.
    • Dr. Varma: It becomes a challenge to note the standard of certainty. Using J&J vaccines for seniors will be just as effective.

Happening today:
New York City middle schools welcome students back for in-person learning once again after months of being closed. Read more here.

The latest official numbers:
As of Thursday, there were 1,606,520 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March and 38,227 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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