The impact that COVID has had on the physical and mental health of many New Yorkers cannot be overstated. As the challenge feels daunting it's critical that each of us stays vigilant as we move into the winter and COVID fatigue continues to set in. New York State will do all we can to battle this virus—we will closely monitor the data and we will increase testing capacity to new daily highs; in fact we achieved a new one today.
It's important to put the numbers we are seeing in New York into context—we're holding steady in the midst of increasing cases in the United States and around the globe. New Yorkers must wear masks, socially distance and wash their hands, and local governments must continue to be vigilant in enforcement. Stay New York Tough.
Photo of the Day: In I Love NY's latest Fall Foliage Report, most of the state is "past peak" but New York City and Long Island still have some foliage to enjoy before the season ends.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. The positivity rate in the "micro-cluster" focus areas was 3.24 percent yesterday. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 1.25 percent. Of the 168,353 tests reported yesterday, 2,499, or 1.48 percent, were positive. There were 1,085 total hospitalizations. Sadly we lost 19 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. The 2021 NY State of Health Open Enrollment Period begins Sunday, November 1st. As we continue to fight COVID-19, making sure every New Yorker is insured and has access to health care has only become more critical. If you are not insured, make 2021 the year you change that. View health plan options here, or you can go online at nystateofhealth.ny.gov or call NY State of Health at 1-855-355-5557 for assistance.
3. Yesterday, the State reported 168,353 COVID-19 tests—a new record high for a single day. The total tests surpassed 14 million. As a reminder, any New Yorker who wants a COVID test can get one. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to the virus, get tested. Find a testing site near you.
4. Fifty-six Coronavirus cases have been linked to two "superspreader" events on Long Island. A wedding, which had 91 people in attendance, has left 30 people testing positive for the virus and hundreds needing to quarantine. The wedding, in Cutchogue, was in violation of the State's ban on non-essential gatherings of more than 50 people and the venue has been fined. In Bellport, 26 guests who attended a birthday party have now tested positive for COVID-19. These two events serve as an important reminder that large gatherings are a bad idea.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": With Election Day around the corner, many New Yorkers have already cast their votes by absentee ballot or during Early Voting. Among them is 103-year-old Helen Schmitz from White Plains, NY. Born before women had the right to vote nationally, she completed her absentee ballot and made her voice heard this year. If you haven't voted yet, there are many ways you can still vote including at an early polling place through November 1st (find your polling place here), or on Election Day, November 3rd.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo