Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Coronavirus
Virus Outbreak New York

FILE – In this Jan. 15, 2021, file photo, CVS Pharmacist Gerard Diebner prepares COVID-19 vaccine for nursing home residents at Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. New York officials are pushing for more COVID-19 vaccine doses as the effort to speed up inoculations collides with a lack of vaccine. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that the city will run out of first doses of COVID-19 vaccine sometime Thursday without fresh supplies. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura, File)

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.

COVID-19 variants in NY
Eighteen new cases of the COVID-19 variant that was first discovered in the United Kingdom were identified in New York, for a total of 154 known cases in the state. A second case of the South African strain was confirmed in Nassau County on Long Island. The first case was identified on Sunday.

NYS daily indicators
157,333 tests reported Monday
6,654 new positive tests
4.23% one-day positivity rate
3.46% seven-day positivity rate
5,977 COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide
1,176 patients in ICUs
799 ventilators in use
86 new COVID-19 fatalities
38,031 total deaths since March 2020

10 a.m.
Mayor Bill de Blasio shared an update on COVID-19 in NYC. Watch in video below or click here.

Vaccines and recovery in NYC

  • 1,547,983 doses administered
  • 10,000 free hotel rooms provided to NYers needing to self isolate
  • Stick to the Core Four:
    • Stay home if sick
    • Stay six feet apart
    • Wear face coverings
    • Wash your hands
  • Get tested

Challenges in Asian American communities. READ MORE.

  • The Asian American community was hit hard even before COVID-19 entered NYC.
  • Hate has no place here.
  • NYPD is focused on finding anyone who commits a hate crime.
  • Anti-discrimination online toolkit available at nyc.gov/StopAsianHate
  • Congresswoman Grace Meng: Since the beginning of this pandemic, our Asian American community has been suffering and fighting basically two viruses before COVID-19 even hit NY.
  • Stewart Loo, NYPD Asian Hate Crimes Task Force
  • Asian American Federation’s Jo-Ann Yoo: We speak for those who can’t be heard in spaces like this. Since the pandemic hit us, the Aisan American community has been reeling with the second pandemic of racism. I encourage people to report their attacks. We must prioritize community safety.

Daily indicators

  • COVID Hospitalizations: 233 (71% positivity rate)
  • Hospitalization rate per 100,000, 7-day average (NYS): 4.06
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average (including probable cases): 3,254
  • 7-day rolling average: 7.32%

Q&A

  • How many crimes against Asian Americans were there in 2020?
    • Dep. Inspector Loo: Since the pandemic, there were 28 incidents of hate crimes against Asian Americans. In 2019, there were about three. As of 2021, there are two.
  • Will you make an endorsement in other races (mayor/city comptroller?)
    • Mayor: It’s about four months until the primary. It’s really early. I’m watching all the races. I might get involved in some, but when it gets closer.
  • What is a COVID-related hate crime? Would that be an undercount based on the definition of it?
    • Loo: These numbers are definitely underreported.
    • What’s considered a COVID-related hate crime. There has to be a statement related to COVID-19. 27 out of 28 victims were Asian.
  • Revived push in NYC for non-citizens to vote in municipal elections. Any thoughts?
    • It’s a complex issue from my point of view. I understand why some support it.
  • COVID stats on cases falling across the country and not as fast in NY? Why are cases still high here?
    • We went from the epicenter to one of the safest places. I saw how much people were listening, but we’re also in a tough place due to density and there is still a lot of poverty/lack of health care. I feel very good about our ability to turn it around when we get more people vaccinated.
    • Dr. Jay Varma: We know that NYC is a more vulnerable place. There are technical issues worth considering — counting cases can be problematic. NYC continues to perform more testing per capita. So you’re going to end up counting more cases. Cases continue to decline, but not as “big” as other places.
    • Dr. Dave Chokshi: Looking at the trajectory of cases, we have declined compared to our peak. That’s come down significantly. We want to drive down cases numbers even further and we have a strategy to do that. We are keeping a close eye on new variants and how they can be adding to transmission
  • How many off-duty NYPD officers were present at the Jan. 6 riots. Any info?
    • I want the whole truth out immediately. We don’t have any evidence that there were off-duty officers at the riots (who are currently employed) there were retired officers though. There’s an ongoing investigation of the FBI.
  • Quarantine hotels: Does the city plan to use hotels for attracting more tourism or use them for residences or homeless crisis?
    • I do believe tourism will revive in the summer/fall. It’ll take a while to return to its full strength. We don’t think hotels are the solution to homelessness. We want people to get permanent, affordable housing. We don’t want to use hotels where we’re paying by the night.
  • Does the city plan on allocating funds to Asian American small business owners etc.
    • We want to make sure all Asian American businesses work with the small business bureau. We also want to make sure they get additional help.
  • Recovery czar: What will her first task be?
    • Lorraine Grillo will be running a war room. Strands initiated will be sped up. Her job is to supercharge this initiative and put it into higher gear.
  • Importance of vaccines appointments and answering all these questions.
    • Efficient thing is the answers are given as much as possible in advance so they can move quickly. We don’t want them congregating.
    • We’ll be going into senior buildings and setting sites. We need more supply.
    • Dr. Chokshi: Vaccinating our older New Yorkers is such a priority.
  • Increase on people not wearing masks — many saying they got vaccinated etc.
    • June is the earliest we’d even consider changing guidance on mask wearing. (pending vaccination effort) From now until June, keep doing what you’re doing. Social distance and wear masks.
    • When we get closer to June, we’ll update guidance depending on what we’re seeing. Even if you’re vaccinated, have concern for everyone around you.
    • Dr. Chokshi: We can’t take our foot off the gas. We’re concerned about cases and variants, but we have to think about vaccines as an additional layer of protection that help us, in addition to mask wearing. Social distancing etc.
    • After you’re vaccinated, it takes time for immunity to build up. We don’t have too much information on people getting covid after vaccinated.
    • Dr. Ted Long: Connect with Test and Trace, and we’ll connect with you. Call 212-COVID-19. New Yorkers are trusting us and we’re going to continue to work with them.
  • Increase in Asian hate crimes: Of the 28 cases reported last year, what were the consequences?
    • We have to have consequences. One of the challenges is making sure people come forward with incidents.
    • Inspector Loo: Out of the 28 incidents, 18 arrests. Most of the investigations are active. They’re in criminal court across the five boroughs.
  • Given the bail reform and other things going on in the city, what kinds of punishment can we expect (fines, jail time) what kind of things are sent to people to make sure they get the message.
    • Depending on what they’re talking about, sometimes it’s a big financial penalty, but when you’re talking about violence jail time is what should be done.
    • Inspector Loo: Consequences — Hate crimes would raise that stature by one degree and increase the penalty. It depends on a case by case basis and depends on the district attorney.
  • Program city hopes to implement on Johnson and Johnson vaccines for homebound seniors. how fast will that be done?
    • Aides and seniors need to be protected. In-home vaccination of folks who are homebound are importnat.
    • Dr. Chokshi: This is an area we have been actively planning for. We’ve been working with agencies and clinicians who already provide health care services at homes. We have to apply that with what we know about the J&J vaccines.

Happening today:
Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden are among the NY stadiums and arenas opening at limited capacity, hosting fans for the first time in nearly a year. Read more.

The latest official numbers:
As of Tuesday, there were 1,591,585 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March and 38,031 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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