On Sunday, we expanded eligibility to include New Yorkers with qualifying comorbidities and underlying conditions. And on Sunday we saw the largest single-day registration total since vaccinations began: 250,924 New Yorkers made appointments at a rate of nearly 10,000 per hour. While we wait for supply to increase, we're doing everything we can to roll out the vaccine to as many eligible New Yorkers as possible with what vaccine supply we currently have. I ask New Yorkers to remain patient when trying to schedule appointments. And to wear masks and keep socially distant as we continue to battle this deadly virus.
Here's what else you need to know:
1. The MTA will expand overnight service on the Subway. Effective Monday, February 22nd, the MTA will extend late-night subway service by two hours, moving to a 2 a.m. - 4 a.m. closure daily. The changes will lengthen the subway's operations by two hours while enabling the MTA to continue the most aggressive deep cleaning and disinfecting regimen in its history.
2. COVID hospitalizations dropped to 6,620. Of the 136,392 tests reported yesterday, 6,753, or 4.95 percent, were positive. There were 1,271 patients in ICU yesterday, up one from the previous day. Of them, 878 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 107 New Yorkers to the virus.
3. As of 11am this morning, 92 percent of first doses allocated to the state have been administered. This represents 2,024,225 first doses administered of the 2,192,675 first dose allocations received from the federal government. So far, 900,303 second doses have been administered out of the 1,178,350 second doses received. See data by region on the State's Vaccine Tracker: ny.gov/vaccinetracker.
4. A case of the South African COVID-19 virus variant has been found in New York. A Connecticut resident who is a patient in a New York City hospital has tested positive for the South African variant. There is no evidence of any spread in New York State to date, but regardless, all New Yorkers should continue to exercise vigilance in the face of COVID and its variants.
"Deep Breath Moment": Lost items have a way of finding their way home—even if it takes a bit of time. Retired Navy meteorologist Paul Grisham lost his wallet when stationed in Antarctica in 1968. The wallet was discovered when some old buildings at a research station on the southernmost continent were about to be demolished—as of two weeks ago, the wallet found its way back to Grisham, now in San Diego. In the surprisingly intact wallet was a punched beer card, a recipe for homemade coffee liqueur and an old ID card.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo