We received some good news from the federal government today. The federal vaccine supply to the states will increase by about 20 percent for the next three weeks, up from the initial 16 percent expected bump in allocations. Additionally, private pharmacies in the state who are charged with prioritizing the 65-plus population will now receive an additional 10 percent, or about 30,000 doses, directly from the federal government. This will supplement doses allocated to them by the State. Following the snowstorm, all New York State-run vaccination sites will be open and ready to administer doses during regularly scheduled hours starting tomorrow (by appointment only). If your appointment was canceled due to the weather, don't worry — you have been rebooked. Be sure to check for an email or text rescheduling your appointment.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. COVID hospitalizations ticked up to 8,067. Of the 150,199 tests reported yesterday, 8,215, or 5.47 percent, were positive. The 7-day rolling average of test positivity, 4.95 percent, is the lowest since December 6. There were 1,053 patients in the ICU yesterday, up three from the previous day. Of them, 1,004 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 146 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. Over 2 million total vaccine doses have been administered in New York State. This total includes the federal Long Term Care Facility program. As of 12pm today, 91 percent of first doses allocated to state health care distribution sites have been administered. This represents 1,414,241 first doses administered of the 1,554,450 first doses received from the federal government (NYS health care distribution sites only). 321,204 second doses have been administered out of 725,050 second doses received. See data by region on the State's Vaccine Tracker.
3. The Bronx continues to have the highest test positivity rate of the New York City boroughs. The Bronx's positivity rate is 6.57 percent, followed by Queens at 5.21 percent, Brooklyn at 5.17 percent, Staten Island at 4.65 percent, and Manhattan at 3.06 percent (7-day rolling averages). Later this week, Yankee Stadium will open as a mass vaccination site specifically and exclusively for Bronx residents who are 65 or older or in other eligible groups.
4. Among the regions of New York, Long Island has the highest test positivity rate. Long Island's positivity rate is 6.03 percent, followed by the Mid-Hudson Region at 5.76 percent, the North Country at 5.51 percent, New York City at 5.09 percent, Western New York at 5.01 percent, the Capital Region at 4.67 percent, Mohawk Valley at 4.09 percent, the Finger Lakes at 3.79 percent, Central New York at 3.08 percent, and the Southern Tier at 1.92 percent (7-day rolling averages). No matter where you live, please continue to take the recommended health precautions, including wearing a mask and washing your hands often.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Tonight's "DBM" takes us to Smithtown, New York, where for 75 years the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind has trained dogs to guide blind or visually impaired people for free. The training process takes two years, and is followed by a matching process to make sure each dog is a good fit for the eventual owner. Last week, ABC7 featured the story of John Brennan, a blind veteran, and his new guide dog, Edgar, who were matched a few weeks ago.
"When you see somebody paired with someone who needs them, you really understand what you are really doing here. You're providing somebody with independence."
John Miller, President and CEO of the organization, said:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo