There's so much about COVID that we still don't know. But it is clear that COVID can have devastating long-term effects for some people. Known as "long-haulers," these individuals struggle with symptoms that last for months after catching COVID. One of the most concerning symptoms is chronic fatigue, which can make it difficult to even do simple daily tasks. It's important that we all take COVID seriously. Even if you're younger or in good health. Wear a mask, social distance, avoid gatherings—and together let's work to stop the spread.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. The statewide positivity rate rose above 3 percent. In the micro-cluster focus areas, the positivity rate was 4.89 percent. Excluding these areas, it was 2.82 percent. Of the 159,852 tests reported yesterday, 5,088, or 3.18 percent, were positive. Total hospitalizations rose to 2,124. Sadly, we lost 29 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. New Yorkers can now take free online courses through Coursera. In partnership with Coursera, we launched a free online platform for New Yorkers to learn new job skills, earn certificates and advance their careers. At a time when unemployment has risen due to the pandemic, we hope these online courses will help New Yorkers get back on their feet. So, whether you're unemployed, underemployed, or are simply interested in learning new skills, check it out and sign up.
3. The iconic Christmas tree arrived in Rockefeller Center. The 75-foot Norway spruce is New York grown—specifically, the tree comes from Oneonta, NY. It will be illuminated on December 2nd, but there will be no public viewing of the tree lighting ceremony because of the pandemic. The tree lighting will instead be broadcast nationally on NBC.
4. We can't underestimate the strain of COVID fatigue. Mental health is just as important as physical health. New Yorkers can call the State's mental health hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for free emotional support, consultations & referrals to a provider or visit the Office of Mental Health for resources.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": When a group of NYC hospital staff aren't serving on the frontline, they're writing short stories, poems, and other pieces as part of a literary journal. Started in 2000 by six individuals at Bellevue Hospital, the Bellevue Literary Review ties together the medical and literary community. Over the past two decades, the journal has published fiction, nonfiction and poetry about health and healing. This fall, NY actors Erin Cherry and Nkosi Nkululeko held a virtual reading of pieces from the journal as part of a longstanding autumn tradition. Watch the reading here. Thank you to the Bellevue Literary Review's Editor in Chief and frontline hero Danielle Ofri for sharing this with us.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo