The footrace continues between our ability to quickly distribute the vaccine and the new strains and new cases. Our large network of distribution sites is ready, willing and able to get more vaccines to New Yorkers, faster—the problem is supply from the federal government. So we need all New Yorkers to stay vigilant as we enter the worst phase of the winter. We all need to wash hands, wear masks and social distance. The extent of community spread is a function of our actions, and we can slow it down. New Yorkers have already been brave and resilient through the enormous hardship that we've faced over the last year, saving countless lives. Now we need to get through to the light at the end of the tunnel.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. In the past 24 hours, New York administered 96,000 doses. As of 11am today, New York's health care distribution sites have administered 93 percent of first doses received from the federal government, and 91 percent of first and second doses. But while we have the operational capacity to do more, our supply is scarce, and first dose supply could run out as soon as tomorrow. But I want to stress one important point: New Yorkers who have already received their first dose do not have to worry that they will not be able to get a second dose—we always ensure there are enough vaccine doses to complete the vaccination for those who got their first dose already.
2. Total hospitalizations dropped to 9,055. Of the 224,569 tests reported yesterday, 13,886, or 6.18 percent were positive. There were 1,560 patients in ICU yesterday, down 60 from the previous day. Of them, 1,011 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 174 New Yorkers to the virus.
3. Open enrollment for uninsured New Yorkers is extended through March 31. As part of the State's ongoing response to the pandemic, the open enrollment period for uninsured New Yorkers is extended through March 31, 2021. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through the NY State of Health, New York's Official Health Plan Marketplace, or directly through insurers. Learn more here.
4. New York State will investigate prescription drug price hikes connected to the pandemic. We've seen too many instances of pharmaceutical companies take advantage of those in need. The Department of Financial Services' newly formed Office of Pharmacy Benefits announced an investigation today into significant price spikes for six drugs that were connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Having experienced COVID himself, New York City blues artist Dave Keyes wrote an original song to thank frontline heroes. His son "7 O'clock Somewhere" pays tribute to all those working to keep us safe throughout the pandemic. Listen to it here.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo