BUFFALO, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul traveled to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo to host a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday afternoon and offer an update to New Yorkers on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor began her briefing by thanking President Joe Biden, who pledged 30 ambulances with health care staff to be sent to Upstate areas and new mass testing sites to come online. This assistance is in addition to previously announced rapid at-home tests to be delivered directly to Americans.

Furthermore, the governor said New York state has ordered take-home tests too, with 5 million to be delivered by December 31. The governor said 2 million of those would of those tests will be earmarked for school districts, 1 million for county emergency managers, 1.6 million for New York City, and 400,000 for NYS vaccination sites.

Gov. Hochul said keeping students in school remains a priority for her, adding that any county can implement “test to stay.” She said the at-home COVID tests will help counties with those critical testing resources should they choose to opt in for test to stay.

The governor said the case rates statewide are going “vertical” as the latest surge continues. The state’s average new case rates per 100,000 residents per region over the past week, according to the governor, are as follows:

“It’s going straight up,” Gog. Hochul said. “We had 28,924 new cases yesterday. Another day we’re breaking records.”

The governor noted that hospitalizations statewide are also increasing recently:

“We’re not panicking,” Gov. Hochul said. “We have the resources we need. We have vaccines, we have boosters. We have people who are being smart. It is not March 2020.”

The state’s vaccination progress, according to the governor’s office, is as follows:

  • 32,693,260 total doses administered
  • 144,541 doses administered in past 24 hours
  • 94.6% of New Yorkers 18 and older with at least one dose
  • 82.4% of New Yorkers 18 and older fully vaccinated
  • 74.7% of New Yorkers 12-17 with at least one dose
  • 65.8% of New Yorkers 12-17 fully vaccinated
  • 26.2% of New Yorkers 5-11 with at least one dose
  • 15.4% of New Yorkers 5-11 full vaccinated

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