The state's effort to vaccinate health care workers has been underway for the last eight weeks. So we are now starting to shift doses not used to date to prioritize New Yorkers with qualifying comorbidities and pre-existing conditions. These New Yorkers will be able to make appointments at state-run mass vaccination sites beginning Sunday, February 14, with vaccinations beginning next Monday, February 15. Local health departments will determine how, where and when to schedule appointments in their jurisdictions, and those appointments will begin as early as February 15. New Yorkers will have to provide documentation as required by the facility where they are getting vaccinated—the exact form of documentation will be up to local governments, but may be either a doctor's letter, medical information evidencing comorbidity, or a certification.
Federal supply of the vaccine remains extremely limited, and I urge all New Yorkers to be patient. We can only administer as many doses as we receive and we're continuing to fight for more every day.
Photo of the Day: Helen, pictured above, became the 10,000th person to be vaccinated at the Roc Dome Arena vaccination site in Henrietta, NY, this morning.
Here's what else you need to know:
1. COVID hospitalizations rose to 7,716. Of the 197,183 tests reported yesterday, 8,448, or 4.28 percent, were positive. There were 1,454 patients in the ICU yesterday, down 5 from the previous day. Of the, 961 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 114 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. Today we launched NY PopsUp, an initiative to accelerate the revival of culture and the arts: the creative soul of New York. As we approach 2 million New Yorkers vaccinated, we're bringing back the arts with over 300+ arts events across the state. Arts industry workers have been devastated by the pandemic, with many out of work since March. This initiative will marshal the return of the arts with safe, in-person events and online shows—coming to your neighborhood soon!
3. If you've gotten your first dose, make sure not to skip your second dose. Second doses are crucial to building full protection to the virus, as Dr. Anthony Fauci emphasized yesterday. Remember: both currently authorized COVID vaccines require two doses.
4. Indoor dining in New York State will reopen at reduced capacity Friday, February 12, two days before Valentine's Day. Strict health guidelines are in place, including a 25 percent occupancy cap. We know the restaurant industry is struggling due to the pandemic, and we remind New Yorkers that takeout and delivery continue to be great ways to support your favorite dining establishments.
"Deep Breath Moment": Despite the challenges of the past year, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse is full-steam-ahead in the construction of a new state-of-the-art animal health clinic that will help the zoo better care for its animals—which range from red pandas and snow leopards to flamingos and penguins. The zoo is open and welcoming visitors, although there are capacity restrictions due to the pandemic.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo