I know that many New Yorkers are eager for information on the vaccine's distribution. In fact my mother, Matilda, keeps asking me when she can get vaccinated. Much of the timeline depends on how quickly the federal government can distribute supplies to states, and we expect the supply to increase over time.
Currently, we are in Phase 1A—which includes residents and staff of nursing homes and other congregate care facilities as well as doctors, nurses, and all health care workers that come into contact with the public, including individuals administering the COVID vaccine. After we vaccinate our heroic health care workers, we move into Phase 1B, which will include teachers and education workers, first responders (police, firefighters), public safety workers, public transit workers, and people 75-and-older. If you're unsure whether or not you're currently eligible, you can check here: ny.gov/vaccine.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. Total hospitalizations rose to 8,665. Of the 197,816 tests reported yesterday, 16,648, or 8.41 percent, were positive. There were 1,408 patients in ICU yesterday, up 16 from the previous day. Of them, 877 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 161 New Yorkers.
2. We need the federal government to take action on international flights to prevent the spread of COVID variants. I sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf asking him to require that airline travelers to the United States receive a negative COVID-19 test result before being allowed into the country. Between 70,000 and 80,000 international passengers arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City each week. Read the letter here.
3. The Finger Lakes, with 934 hospitalizations, has the highest rate of COVID hospitalizations by population. Hospitalizations in the Finger Lakes represent 0.08 percent of the region's population. Western New York has 540 hospitalizations (0.04 percent of its population); Central New York has 403 hospitalizations (0.05 percent); Mohawk Valley has 306 hospitalizations (0.06 percent); Long Island has 1,614 hospitalizations (0.06 percent); the Mid-Hudson Region has 984 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); the Capital Region has 472 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); the Southern Tier has 220 hospitalizations (0.03 percent); and New York City has 3,107 hospitalizations (0.04 percent). The North Country, with 85 hospitalizations (0.02 percent), has the lowest rate of hospitalizations due to COVID.
4. The vaccination rate at NY hospitals has increased dramatically. Over the past three weeks, hospitals were administering 10,809 vaccine doses per day (on average), but this week the rate increased to 31,157 doses per day. We want to see this number go up even more.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Last month, New York was hit with a snowstorm that dropped large quantities of snow across the state and left behind significant debris and felled branches. After the storm, father-son duo Craig and Lincoln Marshall of Glen Cove, New York, found that the Welwyn Preserve was hit especially hard by the storm, and many of the trails and paths were blocked by trees. Together, the two grabbed a chainsaw, endured the cold and cleared out the pedestrian and bike paths of the natural public reserve so residents could quickly enjoy the wildlife and scenery—a great example of civic-mindedness!
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo