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Gov. Hochul says New York’s Covid numbers are finally down

Governor Kathy Hochul holds a COVID-19 briefing at the New York Governor’s office at 633 3rd Avenue.

Lev Radin | Light rocket | Getty Images

New York is finally beginning to deal with the latest wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday.

Covid positivity rate and seven-day average incidence rate that exploded to staggering new heights against the background of the spread of a highly contagious variant, omicrons are now on a downward trend, Hochul said at a press conference in Albany.

“There will come a time when we can say it’s over,” Hochul said. “We’re not there yet, but boy, it’s on the horizon and we’ve been waiting a long time for it.”

Hochul reported 177 new Covid deaths and 12,207 hospitalizations, while noting that both numbers tend to lag behind the current trajectory of the virus.

“You all did the right thing and that is why we will be at the forefront of the states seeing this long overdue and long overdue downturn,” Hochul said, predicting that New York City is “turning the corner of the winter surge. “

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York City has the highest vaccination rate in the country. Nearly 73% of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated against Covid, and nearly 86% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Hochul also announced that the Empire State has received 64 million Covid tests, 15 million of which have already been distributed.

The omicron variant appears to be less likely than previous Covid variants to cause severe symptoms, but it is significantly more contagious, leading to a significant spike in hospitalizations and deaths.

But the milder symptoms of omicrons have not caused New York’s intensive care units to become as overwhelmed as they were at the beginning of the pandemic.

Hochul also thanked the Biden administration for sending medical teams to New York and five other states that have asked for help to staff hospitals.

FEMA, the agency that deployed the additional staff, announced earlier Friday that it would expand its policy to provide funding to states that use National Guard members to support hospitals amid congestion.

This is evolving news. Please stay tuned for updates.


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