The increase in infection rate post-holidays is here and is problematic in and of itself, but when combined with the newly found UK strain in NYS and with the federal government's refusal to contain more cases by instituting common sense testing requirement for international travelers, our work has become more complicated. Even with this new challenge, New York is staying tough, and working with the health care community to ensure hospitals do not become overwhelmed. Remember that we are in a footrace between COVID and the vaccine. It's as important today as ever that we collectively stay smart and commit to taking the steps necessary to stop the spread.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. Total hospitalizations fell slightly to 8,548. Of the 238,550 tests reported yesterday, 17,636, or 7.39 percent, were positive. There were 1,424 patients in ICU yesterday, up 16 from the previous day. Of them, 859 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 197 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. To date, New York has administered approximately 430,000 vaccine doses. New York hospitals had previously jumped in administering an average of 10,000 doses per day to approximately 30,000 per day. Yesterday, hospitals administered approximately 50,000 doses in one day. This is good progress, but hospitals must do even more.
3. The Department of Health continues to test for the UK strain of COVID. After an individual in Saratoga County, NY, tested positive for the variant, the Department of Health has undertaken extensive contact tracing efforts. As of today, no other positive cases have been identified of the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the official name of the virus that causes COVID-19).
4. SUNY Downstate's University Hospital successfully administered 100 percent of its weekly COVID-19 vaccine allocation. SUNY hospitals have been especially successful in quickly administering their allocation, and I commend them. It is crucial that hospitals administer the doses they have as fast as they can so we can vaccinate all our health care heroes.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": In January of 2020, New York City performing artist Taylor DeNapoli had a mission for the year—to create a video performance to release on the 17th day of every month of the year, her lucky number. Even though the pandemic heavily impacted the entertainment industry, Taylor met her goal and continued sharing videos of choreographed performances featuring Broadway performers and other New York City artists. On December 17th, 2020, Taylor released her twelfth and final video of her "Video of the Month" series. Watch it here.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo