ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled to the Mission Society of New York City Friday to give an update on the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts.
Friday’s COVID-19 update for New York:
- Test Results Reported – 240,930
- Total Positive – 4,901
- Percent Positive – 2.03%
- 7-Day Average Percent Positive – 2.45%
- Patient Hospitalization – 3,387 (-180)
- Net Change Patient Hospitalization Past Week – -497
- Patients Newly Admitted – 378
- Hospital Counties – 52
- Number ICU – 786 (-25)
- Number ICU with Intubation – 483 (-16)
- Total Discharges – 172,873 (+490)
- Deaths – 45
- Total Deaths – 41,723
“Yesterday’s statewide positivity rate was 2.03%, the lowest it’s been since November 5, and down from yesterday,” Gov. Cuomo said. “3,300 people hospitalized is also down, ICU and intubated are down as well.”
The seven-day positivity rates by regions is as follows:
- Western New York — 4.2%
- Finger Lakes — 2.9%
- Mid-Huson — 2.7%
- Long Island — 2.5%
- New York City — 2.5%
- Capital Region — 1.9%
- Central New York — 1.5%
- Mohawk Valley — 1.5%
- North Country — 1.4%
- Southern Tier — 0.8%
- Statewide — 2.45%
“By region across the state is something to pay attention to,” Gov. Cuomo said. “The variety, the variation, the range of positivity across the state is something that people have to take seriously. We have some parts of the state with four times the positivity rate of other parts of the state.”
The governor announced new urban pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics where undocumented immigrants, bodega employees, and other workers in the food industry will be eligible for walk-ins.
“There’s vaccine hesitancy, yes that’s part of it,” Gov. Cuomo said. “‘Maybe I’m undocumented, I’m not so quick to walk into a government-sponsored facility.’ OK, we’ll make it easier. We’ll bring the vaccine to you. We’ll bring the vaccine to you through somebody you trust. We’ll bring the vaccine to you through non-for-profits, community-based health providers who you feel comfortable dealing with because you have a relationship. Government won’t even show up, and we’ll make it available to you where you work. We will bring it to the grocery stories where you work, to make it easy. And you don’t even need an appointment. We’ll bring it to the grocery stores to the Latino community, to the Black community, through community health providers. You just walk up and take it.”
In his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, the governor announced that beginning Friday, New Yorkers over the age of 60 years old no longer need vaccine appointments to get their COVID-19 shots at state run mass vaccination sites. Locally, that includes the sites at Kodak-Hawkeye Parking Lot and the Rochester Dome Arena.
Monroe County Executive is taking that effort one step further at the local level, by no longer requiring appointments for vaccines at county-run sites.
Additionally, appointments are no longer necessary at any of the coronavirus vaccination sites run by New York City. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that anyone eligible for the vaccine could walk up to any of the city’s mass vaccination sites and get a shot.
“We want to make it easy, we want to make sure they’re safe,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We want to make sure the people they’re dealing with are safe, we want to make sure the delivery workers are safe. We want to get those vaccines up because that’s what works for everyone. When do we beat COVID, when we hit herd immunity — that’s when we all together as a community decide we’re going to get this vaccine done and we’re going to crush COVID.”
The governor said the daily rates of vaccination is beginning to plateau, and says it’s important that people talk to their friends, family members, and neighbors about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
“It was inevitable that you were going to hit a point of hesitancy,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Any poll you had, from the very beginning, always identified a percentage of the population that said ‘I’m hesitant ‘or ‘I’m not taking the vaccine.’ The first wave was people who were willing to take the vaccine. You will then hit a point where that population is no longer coming in and you’re just dealing with the hesitant population. We are not there yet, we’re still booking appointments. We have weeks of appointments that are still being booked. I think making it easier for people, the walk-ups I think make it easier, but there are two components: It’s access and information.”
The governor said he was skeptical that offering incentives to get vaccinated would change the minds of doubters.
“Access and information — that’s what we’re trying to do now,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Access, you can just walk up, we’ll bring it to you, it’s not an effort for you. If somebody doesn’t want to have a vaccine, I don’t know that offering them an incentive is really going to work. I think you can take away disincentives, but when we get to that core of the population, that’s just hesitant, which you’ll find out because people will stop making the appointment. We’re not there yet, but identify what that problem is, and we’ll address it.”
Regarding a recent stretch of briefings from the governor being closed to the press, the governor said “When we do events outside, we’ll have more flexibility with capacity, and we’ll have press at the press conferences.”
This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide updates as they become available.