Our infection and hospitalization rates are steadily declining thanks to the actions of New Yorkers, but there is still more work to be done. While additional vaccine doses are on the way we must continue to actively work to protect our hospitals and their staff to help ensure they do not become overwhelmed. We are all feeling COVID fatigue, but New Yorkers have the tools to fight the war—wear a mask, social distance and avoid gatherings. Keep being New York Tough. We'll make it through this.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. Total COVID hospitalizations fell to 8,520. Of the 250,668 tests reported yesterday, 13,398, or 5.34 percent were positive. There were 1,584 patients in ICU yesterday, up 26 from the previous day. Of them, 1,024 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 162 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. Reminder: The deadline to enroll in a health plan through NY State of Health has been extended. If you are uninsured, now is a good time to sign up for quality and affordable health plans through the state marketplace. Learn more.
3. To date, New York has conducted over 31 million tests. New York continues to lead in testing and in less than a week we've conducted one million tests. Getting tested for COVID regularly is a great way to ensure your health and the health of those around you. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID or believe you may have been exposed to the virus, get tested. Find a testing site near you. You can also call 1-888-364-3065 to make a free appointment at a New York State-run testing location.
4. The Finger Lakes hospitalization rate by population dropped slightly. There are 634 hospitalizations in the Finger Lakes, which represent 0.05 percent of the region's population. Mohawk Valley has 235 hospitalizations (0.05 percent); Long Island has 1,511 hospitalizations (0.05 percent); the Mid-Hudson Region has 1,046 (0.05 percent); the Capital Region has 457 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); New York City has 3,664 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); Southern Tier has 235 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); Central New York has 229 hospitalizations (0.03 percent); and Western New York has 419 hospitalizations (0.03 percent of its population). The North Country, with 90 hospitalizations (0.02 percent), has the lowest rate of hospitalizations due to COVID.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Former journalist Sue Buyer is proving that it's never too late to find a new calling—this year, she published her first novel at age 92. Formerly an avid skier, the lifelong Buffalo area resident began her novel after giving up skiing in the winter. The book, called "All Things in Time," draws from Ms. Buyer's experiences as a young reporter in the 1950s, when journalism was still a male-dominated industry. Her alma mater, Vassar College, lauded Ms. Buyer's accomplishments with a feature on their website.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo