ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo toured the mass vaccination site at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City Monday and provided an update on the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.
“Javits Center, in many ways, represents the beginning and the end,” Gov. Cuomo said. “In the beginning of COVID, Javits was turned into the emergency hospital, when we believed the hospitals would be overwhelmed. 2,500 hundred emergency beds were set up at Javits, it had never been done before the entire floor was a sea a basically army cots and partitions.”
Turning the page on the earlier stages of the pandemic, the governor said Javits being used as a mass vaccination center marks the beginning of the end.
“We are not at the end,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We are at beginning of the end. Why? Because we have the vaccine that can stop he virus. We have a vaccine which is the weapon that can win the way — we know that for a fact. This weekend the Javits Center did more vaccines that any place in the United States of America.”
While more and more New Yorkers received the vaccine, the governor urged the process be facilitated fairly and on an equitable basis.
“Black population had more comorbidities, more existing underlying conditions, because there’s a desperate health care system in the nation, and there are health care deserts and communities left behind,” Gov. Cuomo said. “When it comes to the vaccine, let’s correct that injustice that COVID has brought to our attention. It is not currently being distribute or accepted fairly: 53% of New York City’s population is white, but 57% of the people who have been vaccinated are white. Black population is 27% of the people in New York City, but Black people only make up 18% of the people vaccinated. Hispanic is 28% of the population, but only 20% o f those vaccinated. The white population and Asian population are being vaccinated at a higher rate and the Black and Hispanic populations are at a lower rate.”
The governor said the state is working on closing those demographic disparities by making the vaccine available at community centers, public housing projects, and houses of worship throughout New York.
For those who are hesitant, the governor urged New Yorkers to follow the science and accept the vaccine.
“Five million people have taken the vaccine in New York — it is safe,” Gov. Cuomo said. “My recommended the vaccine to my mother. I am recommending my daughters when they are eligible.”
With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine approved and available the governor says supply will soon catch up with demand, and it’s up to New Yorkers to get it when they can.
“We now have Johnson & Johnson; one dose, much faster, much easier, and it’s going to ramp up production,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We’ll make it available here, what we’re doing in this site is faster and better than any place in the nation, but we need people to come forward. We can’t put the needle in your arm if you don’t bring your arm forward. This vaccine can save your life. This vaccine can save your mother’s life, your grandmother’s life, your sister’s life, your brother’s life. It is literally a matter of life and death.
“We lose people every day to COVID,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Every day, I have to go through the number of lives lost. It’s down from where it was, yes, but you’re still talking about hundreds of families effected every day. Save lives, do what you can to save lives and take the vaccine.”
“It’s never been so important that we all do our part to be vaccinated,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “Herd immunity will finally put COVID on the defense and allow us to move forward. Whether it’s Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, or Moderna — each is safe and effective. These factors will allow us to get as many doses of this effective vaccine into many arms as soon as possible. Please, when it’s your time, get your vaccine, do it. It’s the only way we can end this crisis, reclaim our lives, and create a better future for everyone.”
The governor also announced Monday 10 additional mass vaccination sites, like the one recently activated at the former Kodak Hawkeye parking lot in Rochester, will soon be coming online in different regions throughout the state.
In his briefing on Sunday, Cuomo announced that New York state will allow 75% capacity at restaurants that have been operating at 50% capacity under COVID-19 guidelines. This restaurant update applies only to establishments outside of New York City at this time, according to the governor’s office.
Starting March 19 local restaurants in the Rochester area and Finger Lakes region can make this change.
During that Sunday press briefing, the Governor echoed earlier statements he has made stating he has no intention of resigning over the allegations that are being made against him. Gov. Cuomo dismissed the calls as “politics in politics” and said “I was elected by the people of the state, I wasn’t elected by politicians.”
The governor has been under pressure following scrutiny of the way his administration handled the reporting of nursing home deaths and a spate of sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace behavior allegations.
Today’s data is summarized briefly below:
- Test Results Reported – 146,456
- Total Positive – 5,309
- Percent Positive – 3.62%
- 7-Day Average Percent Positive – 3.19%
- Patient Hospitalization – 4,830 (+41)
- Net Change Patient Hospitalization Past Week – -477
- Patients Newly Admitted – 474
- Hospital Counties – 53
- Number ICU – 1,005 (+6)
- Number ICU with Intubation – 669 (-13)
- Total Discharges – 150,473 (+373)
- Deaths – 64
- Total Deaths – 39,093
The regional hospital bed capacity and occupancy numbers, including the number of hospitalizations as a percent of the region’s population, is as follows:
|Region||COVID Patients Currently in Hospital in Region||COVID Patients as Percent of Region Population||Percent of Hospital Beds Available Within 7 Days Under Surge Plan|
|Central New York||47||0.01%||33%|
|New York City||2,872||0.03%||31%|
|Western New York||146||0.01%||37%|
The regional ICU bed capacity and occupancy numbers are as follows:
|Region||Total ICU Beds in Region||Total Occupied ICU Beds in Region||Percent of ICU Beds Available in Region (7-day Avg)|
|Central New York||262||167||34%|
|New York City||2,605||1,992||23%|
|Western New York||545||289||41%|
It is important to note that data, including test results and hospital rates, reported early in the week are often not completely reflective of the current situation due to lower discharges and testing volume over the weekend. Data trends over a period of time, such as using 7-day averages, are a preferred metric. Each region’s 7-day average percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:
|Central New York||0.91%||0.90%||0.94%|
|New York City||3.94%||4.01%||4.00%|
|Western New York||1.94%||1.99%||1.95%|
Each New York City borough’s 7-day average percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:
Of the 1,686,478 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:
|County||Total Positive||New Positive|
Yesterday, 64 New Yorkers died due to COVID-19 in New York State, bringing the total to 39,093. A geographic breakdown is as follows, by county of residence:
|Deaths by County of Residence|
Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.