COVID Hospitalizations Hit New Record Low In NY State, Cuomo Says

The number of people hospitalized for the coronavirus across New York State has reached a new record low, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The state reported 371 people are being treated at a hospital for the virus, the lowest since the pandemic began, according to Cuomo. This breaks the previous low record set in September 10th, 2020 when 410 people were in the hospital for the virus. Five peopled died on Friday because of the virus, according to the state. They include one person in Brooklyn and another in Queens. The state’s seven-day positivity average for COVID-19 on Friday was .36%.

“We’re finally putting the COVID-19 pandemic in the rear-view mirror, and more New Yorkers are getting vaccinated every single day as the numbers continue to come down,” Cuomo said. 

Updated figures released Saturday by the state, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show 71.6% of adult New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose, with 64.1% of adults completing their vaccine series.

But even as Cuomo celebrates the gains made by the state, there are concerns that the more contagious delta variant will have an impact in the fight against the coronavirus. Health officials believe the delta variant will be the dominant strain in the U.S. in the next few weeks. It’s so far impacted countries such as India and Australia, which have seen a rise in cases of the delta variant.

At a news conference Friday, officials with the World Health Organization emphasized that even those vaccinated should continue to “play it safe” given the number of strains across the globe.

“There’s still the need for caution,” Dr. Bruce Aylward, the WHO’s senior advisor to the director-general, said. “We are still in a world that is full of this COVID virus, and it’s a virus that’s still evolving. Most importantly, we’re still in a world with a lot of people who are not protected and could suffer a severe disease or death if they get exposed to this.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which previously stated it’s okay for fully vaccinated Americans to avoid mask wearing outdoors, has not released any new guidance. One dose of the vaccine provides a fraction of protection against the delta variant.

Cases of the delta variant have been found in New York City, though it’s not the dominant strain in the city.

On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer that the city has no plans to reinstate stricter safety measures to combat against the variant since there’s not enough of a spike in cases to worry. Israel and Australia, however, have already reimposed tougher safety protocols because of the variant’s spread in those two countries.

“It’s not an on/off switch,” de Blasio said. “If something was going on we would see a trend line and we’d have plenty of time to figure out how to address it.”