Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Coronavirus
Virus Outbreak New York

Pedestrians wear protective masks as they walk in Times Square during the coronavirus pandemic, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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. Andrew Cuomo gave an update on COVID-19 in New York. Watch here or in video below.

Daily Indicators

  • Statewide overall positivity rate: 8.41%
    • Without micro-clusters: 8.13%
    • In micro-clusters only: 9.14%
  • COVID-19 deaths Tuesday: 161
  • Total tests reported Tuesday: 197,816
  • Statewide hospitalizations: 8,665 (+75)
    • Discharges: 940(440 day prior)
    • Admissions: 1,161(898 day prior)
    • ICU patients: 1,408 (+16)
    • Intubations: 877 (+26)

COVID-19 vaccine

  • First priority is health care workers
    • If hospitals collapse or are overwhelmed, it’s the worst-case scenario: More people die and NY state economy shuts down
    • Cuomo says hospital staff vaccination rate improving dramatically this week
      • If a hospital hits refusal rate among staff, we will reallocate vaccine to other populations, the governor says
      • However, 70% acceptance rate in hospital staff is not good
        • There needs to be 70 to 90% acceptance rate among total population for it to be truly effective in curbing the spread
        • NY surveying hospital staff and vaccination acceptance rate among staff is now 85%
  • Hospitals vaccination rate increasing dramatically:
    • Daily hospital vaccination rate over past 3 weeks: 10,809 per day
    • Vaccination rate over past two days: 31,157 per day
  • Vaccine supply still the issue
    • NY has received 950K doses for 2.1 million health care workers/nursing home residents and staff (still need about 1.2 million doses)
    • NY still receiving about 300K doses per week
  • Vaccine distribution
    • 1a. is health care workers and nursing homes
    • 1b. is essential workers and people over 75
      • 870K education workers
      • 207K first responders (police, firefighter etc.)
      • 100K public safety workers
      • 100K public transit workers
      • 1.3 million people 75 and older
    • Experts currently say general public mass availability of vaccines could be between March and April, or later.

International travelers

  • Cuomo sent letter to DHS, HHS and CDC saying U.S. Customs and Border Protection must test anyone coming in from out-of-country
    • Or allow New York/Port Authority to ask any travelers coming into NY airports
  • Person who tested positive for UK variant of COVID in Saratoga had been in contact with someone who traveled to the U.S. from the U.K., Cuomo said

2021 State of the State – happening Monday

Buffalo Bills fan testing began Wednesday morning

  • 4,000 people tested in 12 hours; 5 minutes per car
  • Cuomo giving his playoffs ticket to a nurse from Erie County Medical Center

Q&A
Cuomo on reports that he will push for legalizing new sports-betting program and recreational marijuana

  • These are two places we can raise revenue for the state, Cuomo said
  • Sports betting
    • Plan to run it similarly to how the lottery is run, where the state gets the profit
    • For the betters, it’s seamless and essentially the same
  • Recreational marijuana
    • “I think this should have been passed years ago…I think too many people have been imprisoned, incarcerated and punished,” Cuomo said.
    • By the time it’s fully effective, the state could make $300 million a year (but would take several years to get there)

10 a.m.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio gives an update on COVID-19 in the city. Watch in video below.

Vaccinations in NYC

  • You can’t give the vaccine to someone who doesn’t want it. You need to give it to someone who’s willing.
  • ALL of Phase 1A now eligible for the vaccine (including home care workers, some NYPD, correctional and other city workers in emergency response or medical roles.)
  • 25,000 NYPD personnel eligible receiving initial vaccine distribution
  • GOAL: Vaccinate 10,000 NYPD personnel by Sunday
  • For those 75 and older: Stay home and avoid outdoor activities.

24/7 vaccination sites

  • Mass vaccination sites opening Sunday and will be open 24/7
    • Brooklyn Army Terminal Annex Building
    • Bathgate Industrial Park

Daily indicators

  • COVID Hospitalizations: 279 (66% positivity rate) [Large jump, monitoring closely]
  • Hospitalization rate per 100,000, 7-day average (NYS): 4.21
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average (including probable cases): 3,845
  • 7-day rolling average: 9.25%

Q&A

  • How do people sign up for the vaccine? What do people need to do to find out their category, when they’re eligible and when they can sign up
    • In the next few days, we’ll have phone numbers/websites available in multiple languages.
    • Dr. Chokshi: Two questions: Am I eligible right now? If I am, where can I get vaccinated? Visit nyc.gov/covidvaccine If you’re eligible, we have all locations (hospitals, community health clinics, city sites, mass vaccination sites) put on the website. We’ll push them out through many other channels too.
  • Convincing people to get vaccinated
    • When more categories are approved, we’ll have more people coming to get vaccinated and the reservation system will work
  • 30% “refusal” rate of health care workers who don’t want to get the vaccine — where is the skepticism from and for the general public, how do you expect them to react?
    • Be careful with the word “refuse.” It’s more hesitancy. The vast majority are getting vaccinated. But the more vaccinated, the more trust.
    • Dr. Katz: They were on the front of fighting the pandemic. Many may have gotten sick while fighting it or they feel like they won’t get sick since they haven’t gotten sick. Those at higher risk are those 75 and older.
  • Another strain found in South Africa
    • Mayor: While we’re monitoring new strains, one thing that’s clear is to get as many people vaccinated, especially the most vulnerable.
    • Dr. Jay Varma: What we need to focus on is what we know right now: The vaccine is highly effective. The priority is people eligible should get vaccinated. The more infections that occur in humans, the more it’ll mutate. The best way to stop mutating is to stop the virus spread among humans.
  • The UK is on lockdown. Will NYC go back on a lockdown? Is there a trigger number?
    • We’re watching everyday. Right now, it’s the formulation that the state put together — that’s how we’re making our decisions. So far, we’ve seen extraordinary success in our hospitals. Real worries about people over 75, but overall, people across the board are doing well. If we can keep that momentum (plus vaccinate) we’ll be ok. It’s a day-to-day reality we’re monitoring.
  • Hopeful the city will reach vaccination goals going forward. What assurance can you give that the city can reach those goals.
    • The Fact that Phase 1A and some NYPD are eligible to get vaccinated, that’ll allow us to do more and get more people inoculated. 1199 — we want to make sure everyone is reached and getting vaccinated if they want.
  • Recreational marijuana: Cuomo will be part of an effort to legalize it. What impact does that have on NYC?
    • Mayor: I am a believer. It’s time to legalize marijuana and do it the right way. Legalize it and expunge the records of those penalized for it. Make sure it also helps small businesses rather than large industries (does not want a repeat of the tobacco industry.)

The latest official numbers:
As of Wednesday, there were 1,057,676 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March and 30,965 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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