UPTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul traveled to the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island Friday morning to host a COVID-19 briefing and update New Yorkers on the state’s pandemic response efforts.

“Here is a trend that you don’t need to be a scientist to see: The trend is going down, a 66% drop in new cases over the past two weeks” Gov. Hochul said as she reported 28,296 new COVID-19 cases statewide.

Last week the governor said New York was “turning a corner” on the omicron surge and Thursday she reported that new COVID-19 cases were down 47% statewide over the past seven days.

“We have been waiting for this moment,” Gov. Hochul said. “We are going downwards, downwards, downwards and that is what I want to see.”

Additionally, the governor reported that seven-day average of new COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide was down 20.5% Thursday compared to last week. Furthermore, the governor said Thursday that the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents is now declining in all regions throughout the state.

“Positivity is going down and for the first time since December 20 we are back in the single digits again,” Gov. Hochul said. “We are very excited about this.”

Although the governor expressed optimism about trends regarding new cases and positivity rates, she reminded New Yorkers that COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths remain a lagging indicator and that proper precautions like getting vaccinated or boosted, wearing masks, distancing, and hand washing should remain as common practices.

The governor said the state is also assessing more data regarding COVID hospitalizations, as far as who arrived at a hospital for COVID treatment versus those who arrived for other treatment and caught COVID at a hospital.

“Is everybody that is in the hospital with COVID, did they go because they had COVID symptoms or did they go in because of something else, and they got tested and were positive?” Gov. Hochul said. “43.5% of COVID patients admitted recently were for non-COVID reasons and this is a trend we are watching.”

The governor has not yet announced if the state will extend the mask or vax mandate, which is set to expire on February 1. That policy said masks are required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.

This measure was put into effect on December 13, 2021 until January 15, 2022, but then extended through February 1. The new business and venue requirements extend to both patrons and staff.

A violation of any provision of this measure is subject to all civil and criminal penalties, including a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation. According to the governor, the respective business would face the fine for a violation, not an individual for not wearing a mask.

“I’ll tell you about February 1st on January 31st,” Gov. Hochul said regarding the mask or vax requirement. “We really need the time to make that decision, but I like the trend.”

Also in Friday’s briefing, the governor said additional National Guard members were being medically trained to further assist nursing homes and medical facilities facing staffing shortages.

  • Test Results Reported – 290,107
  • Total Positive – 28,296
  • Percent Positive – 9.75%
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive – 12.27%   
  • Patient Hospitalization – 11,016 (-554)   
  • Patients Newly Admitted – 1,357  
  • Patients in ICU – 1,548 (-35)   
  • Patients in ICU with Intubation – 880 (-5)   
  • Total Discharges – 261,073 (1,706)   
  • New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS – 154
  • Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS – 51,532
    • The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only.     
  • Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC – 64,120  
    • This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings.     
  • Total vaccine doses administered – 35,329,715
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours – 81,968
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days – 518,068
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose – 90.5%   
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series – 81.5%   
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) – 95.0%   
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) – 84.0%   
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose – 79.7%   
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series – 71.2%   
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) – 86.7%   
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) – 73.4%   

Each region’s 7-day average of cases per 100K population is as follows    

RegionTuesday, January 18, 2022   Wednesday, January 19, 2022   Thursday, January 20, 2022   
Capital Region179.25169.65154.52
Central New York200.54199.16193.19
Finger Lakes147.73137.47126.46
Long Island183.67160.48145.64
Mid-Hudson198.77177.31156.06
Mohawk Valley162.08159.14151.72
New York City239.10208.39192.80
North Country160.12152.41151.15
Southern Tier166.16149.05140.52
Western New York176.90168.22146.56
Statewide205.41183.67168.51

Each region’s 7-day average percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:

REGIONTuesday, January 18, 2022   Wednesday, January 19, 2022   Thursday, January 20, 2022   
Capital Region16.54%16.23%15.04%
Central New York19.31%19.32%18.62%
Finger Lakes17.44%17.15%16.03%
Long Island16.68%15.51%14.41%
Mid-Hudson14.07%13.26%12.43%
Mohawk Valley15.98%15.00%14.32%
New York City12.70%11.52%10.49%
North Country16.49%16.29%16.72%
Southern Tier13.98%12.93%12.64%
Western New York19.47%18.95%17.65%
Statewide14.27%13.30%12.27%


Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.