Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A man wearing a mask walks by a Target store in Brooklyn

A man wearing a mask walks by a Target store in Brooklyn on April 6, 2020.

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.

12:40 p.m.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared the latest COVID-19 indicators in New York State.

Daily Indicators

  • NY positivity rate: 4.14%
    • 157,096 tests reported
    • 6,508 positive
  • NY COVID-19 hospitalizations: 4,657
  • COVID-19 fatalities in NY: 51
  • Vaccines administered: 6,834,384
    • 134,536 administered over the past 24 hours
    • 22.9% of New Yorkers received at least one dose
    • 11.8% New Yorkers fully vaccinated

10 a.m.

Mayor Bill de Blasio shared the latest on COVID-19 in NYC. Watch in video below or click here.

Vaccines in NYC

  • Total doses administered: 2,976,162
  • Doses last week: 372,469

Decriminalize sex workers and support survivors

  • City to create sex legislative framework for decriminalizing sex work and support victims of trafficking
    • Advance supportive community-based services for sex workers
    • Formalizing Task Force on Health and Safety Needs of Sex Workers
    • Review NYPD policies and procedures for identifying and investigating human trafficking to find alternative methods
    • Review and create partnerships on labor exploitation and labor trafficking
  • Supporting survivors of gender-based violence
    • Expanding family violence prevention services, counseling, benefits assistance and case management
    • Goal: Reduce violence, promote housing stability, reduce law enforcement involvement with victims
    • Mayor’s Office to end domestic and gender-based violence to conduct citywide review to support survivors and ID services that require engagement with criminal justice system
    • NYPD and ENDGBV to mandate training for officers to help them better support survivors

Daily indicators

  • COVID Hospitalizations:  177(64% positivity rate)
  • Hospitalization rate per 100,000, 7-day average (NYS): 3.64
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average (including probable cases): 3,235
  • 7-day rolling average: 6.40%


  • You’ve said the governor is holding up your effort to fighting COVID. How?
    • Vaccine eligibility groups: Mayor has been calling on the governor to allow more to get vaccinated and increase supply. 
  • Is there a way to work with the federal government directly?
    • Mayors all over the country are raising this concern to the Biden administration. 
    • We’ve appealed to change to rule to have vaccines directly sent to the cities.
  • As students return to classes, schools shutter. What can you say to reassure people about the 6% positivity rate and what can be done to lessen it?
    • In our schools in the past 24 hours, almost 10K tests conducted, 15 cases positive (0.16% positivity) schools are consistently safe. To the bigger point about positivity level, I’m hopeful it’ll continue to go down, especially with more vaccinations. 
    • Dr. Dave Chokshi: We have to ensure we drive everything down together.
    • Dr. Mitchell Katz: To see more reductions in positivity, we need to get more vaccinated (particularly with people who are more active/go out/work etc.)
    • Dr. Jay Varma: For schools: One of the things we learned, even when positivity is high in communities, we can do a lot to make sure transmission rate is low in schools (like at hospitals)
  • Cuomo nursing home decisions: The city placed a hospital at Roosevelt Island — residents said there was no quarantine between COVID patients and other residents. Was that the right call, putting it in the same building as nursing home residents?
    • We were all dealing with decisions he made whether they were right or wrong. The experience was very different from what you saw at other nursing homes. The city made a tremendous effort to protect nursing homes. 
    • Dr. Katz: instead of returning sick patients to nursing homes, we used completely separate buildings. 
  • Summer schools: Calls to open up to families to make up for last year. Are you considering opening it up to all families?
    • Definitely something we’re considering. I think it’s fair to say some families will want it, some won’t. We also need to think about educators who have been working nonstop since March 2020. We want to reach as many kids as needed. 
  • Journalists to be vaccinated soon  among other categories, should they be vaccinated? 
    • Of course. They go out and report, they should be vaccinated. I think Pres. Biden is right that May 1 should have all adults vaccinated, but now, some of the folks we rely on should get vaccinated soon.
  • Protest planned outside City Hall by indoor fitness classes. Any response? 
    • I care about the people who do that work. But it also comes with particular vulnerabilities. Health team says not yet.
    • Dr. Chokshi: Our goal is to look at those where people are indoors, perhaps get the masks wet or off. Those are the groups where we’ve seen COVID-19 spread. 
  • Connecticut is planning to change vaccine eligibility in April for those 16 and older. Should NY match that date? Or is it unreasonable?
    • May 1 is a better time to do that. We also need more supply into this.
  • Police reform: Apology from Commissioner Shea made by Harlem chamber of commerce. Would it be helpful for you to apologize to the city for the past actions of the NYPD (Race etc.) 
    • We’re going to be doing a lot of work through our upcoming charter revision, which will focus on racial justice. 
  • Decriminalization of sex work: It has to be a state plan – with marijuana, you’re having police do less arrests. Will you do the same with this?
    • If you’re talking about sex work alone, I don’t want to see arrests on that anymore. 
  • Homebound vaccine effort: A tweet was sent out for people to make appointments. Can they make appointments or is it just an interest form? 
    • The idea is having people sign up and get cleared then turn it around quickly and get people vaccinated 
    • Dr. Chokshi: We make sure people are eligible and cleared for vaccine — then move forward and reach out and get them appointments.
  • Multiple community groups that are raising money on platforms to operate their Open Streets
    • We have to ensure Open Streets is for everyone and we will follow up.

The latest official numbers:

As of Tuesday, there were 1,740,721 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March 2020 and 39,636 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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