In New York we are working hard to distribute vaccines to eligible groups as fairly and expeditiously as possible. Planning is well under way in preparation for widespread vaccination as more groups become eligibile.
We are working with the public and private sectors across the state to develop a "retail network" of vaccination provider sites.
Similar to operations for the annual distribution of the flu vaccine and like with our ongoing COVID-19 testing, these sites will help ensure access to the vaccine in multiple locations in each of the state's 10 regions. The network of sites will include pharmacies, federally-qualified health centers, local health departments, private urgent care clinics, private doctor networks, and other sites capable of vaccinations. More sites continue to be added to the network every day.
In addition to hospitals and the "retail network," the State will undertake special efforts to supplement these sites with pop-up locations, including at the Javits Center, SUNY and CUNY locations, community centers, and houses of worship—with a special emphasis on reaching underserved communities.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. So far, we have enrolled 3,762 vaccination provider sites in the state. Of these sites enrolled to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, the State has so far activated 636 sites to begin vaccine distribution. By the end of this week, the State will have distributed 911,000 first doses of the vaccine. Providers can learn more here.
2. Essential workers and older New Yorkers are next up to receive the vaccine. Once New York has completed administering the vaccine to health care workers as part of Phase 1A, the next step is Phase 1B, which comprises essential workers and New Yorkers aged 75 and up. Roughly 2.5 million New Yorkers make up this group.
3. To prepare for the next phase of vaccine distribution, we encourage essential worker groups to operationalize their medical teams to administer the vaccine. To help alleviate reliance on the hospital system and protect our hospital capacity, we're encouraging essential worker organizations such as police departments, fire departments, educators, and public transit organizations to begin developing plans to vaccinate their workforce.
4. Total hospitalizations rose to 8,590. Of the 152,402 tests reported yesterday, 12,666, or 8.31 percent, were positive. There were 1,392 patients in ICU yesterday, up 35 from the previous day. Of them, 851 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 149 New Yorkers to the virus.
5. To date, New York has conducted over 26 million tests. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to someone positive for COVID, get tested. Find a testing site near you. You can also call 1-888-364-3065 to make a free appointment at a New York State-run testing location.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Four high schoolers at Alexandria Central in Alexandria Bay, New York, have come together to form an all-girl barbershop quartet called the AcousChix. The group, comprising two freshmen and two juniors of the school, represented New York at Barbershop Harmony Society's national competition in Jacksonville, FL last year and will participate this year virtually in the same competition. For this year's submission, the AcousChix put together a video performance singing "Happy Together" by The Turtles.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo