Following new guidance from the CDC, New York is now including individuals age 65 and up as eligible to schedule appointments to receive the vaccine. Immunocompromised New Yorkers are also eligible to receive the vaccine. We are working with the CDC on how to best define the immunocompromised category. In the meantime, people who are 65 or older can immediately begin finding vaccination locations near them through New York's Am I Eligible? tool. But I want to emphasize that New Yorkers should be patient. Today's change brings the number of eligible New Yorkers to at least 7 million people—and the State receives only 300,000 doses per week from the federal government. That's a huge gap between the supply and the number of eligible New Yorkers. Hospitals will continue to prioritize hospital workers and other health care workers—as it is critical to get these workers vaccinated to keep our hospital system functioning and able to handle the continued rise in COVID hospitalizations. If you are eligible, please be patient; unless the federal supply increases, it will take time to vaccinate the currently eligible groups.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. As of 3:00pm today, New York has administered 665,172 vaccine doses. Of those, 570,556 have been administered in hospitals and 94,616 have been administered in Long Term Care facilities. This represents an increase of 60,000 in the last 24 hours and represents 61.7 percent of what has been delivered to NY.
2. New York has identified eight new cases of the UK variant. There are now 12 cases of the UK virus strain in New York and there are 80 cases in the U.S. As a reminder, the UK variant (also called B.1.1.7) is more contagious than other variants, although it is not believed to be more deadly or cause more severe disease. New Yorkers, as always, are asked to exercise caution.
3. Bills fans will be able to attend the team's second home playoff game on Saturday, January 16th. After successful implementation of the pilot plan to open Bills Stadium for fans this past Saturday, we will allow 6,700 fans to attend this weekend's game as well only after first obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result and adhering to all public health precautions. Contact tracing will also be conducted after the game and tailgating remains prohibited. I thank the Department of Health, BioReference Laboratories and the Buffalo Bills for working on this plan.
4. Total hospitalizations rose to 8,926. Of the 196,671 tests reported yesterday, 15,214, or 7.73 percent, were positive. There were 1,492 patients in ICU yesterday, up 66 from the previous day. Of them, 909 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 164 New Yorkers to the virus.
5. The Finger Lakes and Mohawk Valley Regions have the highest rate of COVID hospitalization by population. There are 894 hospitalizations in the Finger Lakes, which represents 0.07 percent of the region's population and there are 329 hospitalizations in Mohawk Valley, which represents 0.07 percent. The Capital Region has 529 hospitalizations (0.05 percent); Central New York has 343 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); Long Island has 1,612 hospitalizations (0.06 percent); the Mid-Hudson Region has 1,053 hospitalizations (0.05 percent); New York City has 3,290 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); Southern Tier has 241 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); and Western New York has 518 hospitalizations (0.04 percent of its population). The North Country, with 117 hospitalizations (0.03), has the lowest rate of hospitalizations due to COVID.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": It started off as a social media trend on TikTok, turned into a collaborative virtual Broadway show and that show is Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical. In just a month, musical performers and artists came together to produce an hour-long show to bring the spirit of Broadway and help support actors in difficult times. The production raised $2 million for The Actors Fund, supporting theatre workers. And today in my State of the State Address I announced new proposals to bring back the arts safely. The show will go on and New York will be New York again.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo