Public Health

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

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

Lev Radin | flare | Getty Images

New York is finally beginning to turn the corner on the latest wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday.

The Covid positivity rate and the seven-day average of cases, which have exploded to stunning new highs amid the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, are trending down, Hochul told a news conference in Albany.

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

Hochul reported 177 new deaths from Covid and 12,207 hospitalizations in the state, but noted both metrics tend to lag the virus’ current trajectory.

“They’ve all done the right thing, and that’s why we’re going to be at the forefront of states experiencing this long-awaited, much-anticipated decline,” Hochul said, predicting that New York “turns the corner on winter’s tide.”

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

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

The Omicron variant appears less likely than previous Covid variants to cause severe symptoms, but it is significantly more contagious, leading to a sharp rise in hospital admissions.

However, omicron’s milder symptoms have not resulted in New York’s intensive care units being as overwhelmed as they were when the pandemic began.

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

FEMA, the agency that sent the additional staff, announced earlier Friday that it would be expanding its policy to provide funds to states that deploy National Guard members to support distressed hospitals.

This develops news. Please check back for updates.

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