Today I delivered my annual State of the State address. There are moments in life that can change a person fundamentally, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Likewise, there are episodes in history that transform society and COVID is one of those moments. New York sees this moment for the crisis it is, but also the opportunity it presents. COVID transformed New York and so we must plan for what the state will look like post-COVID. This coming year, economies will realign and reset around the world. From defeating COVID to expanding telehealth to election reform, this year we will Reimagine, Rebuild and Renew New York. Learn more here.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. Starting today, New Yorkers in Phase 1b groups are now eligible to receive the vaccine. New Yorkers in Phase 1b include individuals age 75 and up, first responders, teachers, public transit workers, grocery store workers and public safety workers. See the full list here. New Yorkers age 75 and up will primarily be vaccinated at pharmacies and can use the Am I Eligible tool to find vaccination providers near them, or they can call the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). Public employees (for example, police departments, public school teachers and MTA employees) who are also part of Phase 1b will primarily be vaccinated through their groups' relevant health programs or as organized by their unions. Appointments are REQUIRED to be vaccinated. Note that due to limited supply of the COVID vaccine from the federal government, it could take up to 14 weeks for eligible New Yorkers to schedule their vaccine shot.
2. Total hospitalizations rose to 8,645. Of the 203,904 tests reported yesterday, 13,714, or 6.72 percent, were positive. There were 1,427 patients in ICU yesterday, down 10 from the previous day. Of them, 891 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 170 New Yorkers to the virus.
3. There are three new confirmed cases of the UK variant in New York State. Over the weekend, the Department of Health confirmed two new cases in Saratoga County, related to the first case of the virus strain, as well as an unrelated case in Nassau County.
4. As of 3:00pm today, New York has administered 605,677 vaccine doses. Of those doses, 511,369 were administered in hospitals, while 94,308 were administered in Long Term Care facilities. With the beginning of Phase 1b vaccinations today, we will keep up the pace and ramp it up even further.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": When school facilities across the state were shuttered earlier in the pandemics, the Ithaca-based Vitamin L Chorus saw an opportunity to inspire others—despite not being able to perform its usual in-person concerts at elementary schools across the state. The group, who has performed at schools and festivals across the state for more than three decades, produced a music video of their new song called "We Keep Going," written in and for the COVID-19 era.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo