Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that 89,000 New Yorkers have received the first COVID-19 vaccine so far, with 22,000 New Yorkers receiving the first dose in 90 nursing home facilities as part of a federal-private partnership program.
He also reported that another 164 New Yorkers have died of the virus; 14 of those were in Suffolk County.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “Once again, today’s number of new COVID-19 cases has reached troubling levels. Over the course of the last week, a positivity rate above 7 percent has become common, rather than just a one-day spike.
“Christmas in now only two days away, and if we do not take the proper precautions, it is safe to say that the worst of this virus may still be ahead of us. We are all tired, but this virus is here and it is spreading across our communities. While our celebrations may be a little smaller this year, we will all be safer for it.
The governor also announced that the New York State Department of Health has authorized the use of extra doses that have been found in Moderna vaccine vials. The vials were previously believed to contain 10 doses, but may now contain up to 11 doses. DOH guidance on administering the extra doses is available here and a letter from Commissioner Howard Zucker is available here.
- Test Results Reported – 204,361
- Tested Positive – 11,937
- Percent Positive – 5.84%
- Patient Hospitalization – 6,864 (+203)
- Patients Newly Admitted – 1008
- Hospital Counties – 55
- Number ICU – 1,166 (+40)
- Number ICU with Intubation – 633 (+19)
- Total Discharges – 96,857 (+672)
- Deaths – 164
- Total Deaths – 29,016
Cuomo said that Wadsworth Laboratory, part of the Department of Health, has begun research of the new, highly contagious COVID-19 strain that has been discovered in the United Kingdom. Wadsworth has looked at more than 3,700 virus sequences identified in New York, but has yet to find the U.K. variant present in any of the samples. Additionally, Wadsworth and the Department of Health have forged agreements with six hospitals from across the state to obtain additional samples and is continuing to make arrangements with other hospitals to do the same. Those hospitals with agreements already in place include:
- Memorial Sloan Kettering
- Northwell Long Island
- University of Rochester
- Albany Medical Center
- Saratoga Hospital
Cuomo also announced that state workers are distributing 7,348 toys, coats and school supplies to communities in need.
“During this trying year, New Yorkers have shown up for each other like never before, and I am proud that our annual toy drive tradition continues to bring hope to those who need it the most,” Cuomo said. “I am grateful to those who volunteered and donated this year, many of whom face hardships of their own due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the spirit of the holiday season, and this is the spirit of New York.”