NYS Coronavirus Update: Lowest COVID Hospitalizations Since December 12 — Expanding Vaccine Access for 65+ Population

In the past 24 hours, New York vaccine distribution sites administered over 175,000 doses of the COVID vaccine. To date, over 4 million total shots have been administered. Defeating COVID is front and center in New York and our progress against the virus is thanks to New Yorkers’ resilience and willingness to follow the guidelines. Today, our COVID hospitalizations dropped to 5,626, the lowest level since December 12; our statewide daily positivity dropped to 2.82 percent—the lowest since November 21; and our statewide 7-day positivity dropped to 3.22 percent—the lowest since November 26. The declining numbers support our efforts to vaccinate more New Yorkers so we can defeat this pandemic once and for all. But we must remain vigilant until we get there. Let’s keep working to defeat the virus. 

Here’s what else you need to know tonight:

1. COVID hospitalizations dropped to 5,626. Of the 291,189 tests reported yesterday, 8,204, or 2.85 percent, were positive. There were 1,132 patients in ICU yesterday, up eight from the previous day. Of them, 771 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 95 New Yorkers to the virus. 

2. As of 1pm today, 91 percent of first doses allocated to the state have been administered. This represents 2,674,839 first doses administered of the 2,942,765 first dose allocations received from the federal government. So far, 4,170,422 total doses have been administered out of the 4,761,410 total doses received. See data by region and county on the State’s Vaccine Tracker: ny.gov/vaccinetracker

3. The State will expand our vaccination network to include sites designated to serve the 65-plus population. New York State will partner with local health departments, offer transportation and assistant services, to help increase access and make it easier for New Yorkers who are 65+ to get the vaccine—which is enabled by additional supply from the federal government. Details on sites, including locations, opening dates and hours of operations will be forthcoming from the site host or sponsor. As a reminder, eligible New Yorkers can schedule appointments at State mass vaccination sites by utilizing New York’s “Am I Eligible” website or by calling the State’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). 

4. Starting tomorrow, eligible New Yorkers in Brooklyn and Queens can schedule appointments at the mass vaccination sites. At 8am, appointments will open to eligible New Yorkers at the Medgar Evers College site in Brooklyn and the York College site in Queens. Check your eligibility and book an appointment here

5. Hotel workers can be added to Phase 1B vaccine eligibility at the discretion of local governments. Hotels in many parts of the state serve as quarantine areas for COVID-positive persons to isolate themselves from their families. In turn, the staff at these facilities are being exposed to COVID regularly. Given the overall increase to the State’s supply and the essential health care service that these hotel workers provide, we are granting localities the flexibility to add hotel workers to the 1B vaccine prioritization group. 

6. Indoor dining in New York City expands to 35 percent capacity today. The new reopening guidance goes into effect Friday, February 26, which is in alignment with New Jersey’s 35 percent limit.

Tonight’s “Deep Breath Moment”: College rivalries go beyond football. For the past month, Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati have engaged in a tipping war that has so far raised $34,000 for the city’s restaurant workers hit by the pandemic. It started when a Xavier alum left a very generous tip for the staff of a local restaurant with a note hailing their alma mater, which was then shared on social media. This inspired two University of Cincinnati alums to outdo the Xavier tipper—and the tipping war emerged. 

If you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to New York State’s Coronavirus Updates here.

Ever Upward,

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo