Today is Inauguration Day—it was also one year ago today that the first COVID case was identified in the U.S. in Seattle, Washington. On this Inauguration Day, we look forward to working with the new administration in partnership to fight the virus. One of our biggest challenges is limited vaccine supply and I urge President Biden to increase the supply to states as soon as possible.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. Total hospitalizations rose to 9,273. Of the 195,409 tests reported yesterday, 13,364, or 6.84 percent, were positive. There were 1,621 patients in ICU yesterday, up seven from the previous day. Of them, 1,0444 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 185 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. The pace of first-dose vaccine administration is accelerating. New York State is now averaging approximately 65,000 shots per day and we have administered 86 percent of the state's first-dose vaccine allocation from the federal government (excludes the federal Long Term Care Facility program).
3. A new state-run vaccination site opened at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, New York. As with other state-run vaccination sites, vaccinations are by appointment only. New Yorkers can utilize the State's "Am I Eligible" app or call the New York State Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829) to determine eligibility and schedule an appointment, if available. Appointments to receive the second dose at these sites are scheduled in-person after receiving the first dose. New Yorkers should not attempt to book their second appointment online.
4. Four new cases of the UK variant have been reported in New York State. Two of the cases were identified in Saratoga County and two in Suffolk County. To date, there are 22 known cases of the variant in New York State. The Wadsworth Lab is also continuously testing for other COVID-19 virus strains and so far, no other variants besides the UK strain have been found in New York.
5. I announced a new proposal to help small businesses impacted by COVID as part of my Fiscal Year 2022 Executive Budget. The Pandemic Recovery and Restart Program is a $130 million proposal to help small businesses that were most impacted by COVID recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program would establish three new tax credits and expand a fourth tax credit to help small businesses, arts and theatrical industries, restaurants, and other businesses to bring back jobs and help the economy recover faster.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": While we don't yet know which two teams will face off in Super Bowl LV on February 7th, we do know that history will be made when Sarah Thomas becomes the first woman to officiate the game. Sarah Thomas, who joined the NFL as an on-field official in 2015, will serve as a down judge at Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida. Congratulations!
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo