Hospitalizations due to COVID continue to increase throughout the State. The total number of hospital beds in NY is about 53,000—currently 35,000 of those beds are occupied by patients, about 4,000 of whom are COVID patients. For context, at the height of the pandemic in the spring, we had about 19,000 people hospitalized with COVID.
The next stage of the battle with COVID is going to be vaccine distribution and vaccine acceptance. The vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to get there, and we have to get there with as little loss of life as possible. We must do our best to keep the virus from spreading any further. Wear a mask, avoid gatherings (both indoor AND outdoor), social distance and wash your hands
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. The statewide positivity rate ticked up to 4.84 percent yesterday. There were 9,855 positive cases from 203,440 tests reported yesterday. The positivity rate in the micro-cluster focus areas was 5.91 percent. Excluding these areas, it was 4.49 percent.
2. Total hospitalizations rose to 4,063. There were 783 patients in ICU yesterday, up 41 from the previous day. Of them, 377 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 61 New Yorkers to the virus.
3. The State is launching 150 new rapid testing sites in partnership with Prescryptive Health. The partnership will help expand testing capacity in areas across the State where testing access is limited. Residents can find participating sites, schedule a test, receive results and follow-up with licenses clinicians directly from their mobile device. All testing sites will be searchable on the State's COVID test website and appointments for these sites will also be available at www.prescryptive.com.
4. I will sign an Executive Order expanding eligibility for New York State's COVID Rent Relief Program and reopening the application window. This Executive Order will expand the program's eligibility so more rent relief can be provided to New Yorkers and additional details will be available in the coming days.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Celebrity Chef David Chang, owner of the Momofuku restaurant group, became the first celebrity to win $1 million on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?". The prize money will be donated to the Southern Smoke Foundation, an emergency relief fund for restaurant industry workers impacted by the pandemic.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo