New York Daily Covid Cases Top 12,000, Most Since Pandemic Began: Cuomo

Date: 2020-12-18 18:37:24

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New York state reported more than 12,000 new Covid-19 cases, the most since the pandemic began. Even with that record, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he is confident the state can slow the spread and avoid another lockdown.

“Shutdowns are very, very harmful,” Cuomo said Friday. “This has been a long year and the last thing anybody wants is a shutdown.”

Of a record 249,385 tests conducted on Thursday, 5.09% were positive, including hot spots, Cuomo said. There were 6,081 hospitalizations and 120 virus-related fatalities.

State health officials told hospitals this month that they must give three weeks notice if they expect to have less than 15% bed availability. No hospital in the state has given that notice, Cuomo said.

“I believe New Yorkers can slow the spread and that hospitals can manage the increase.”

The state reported 12,697 positive test results. The previous high was in mid-April with about 11,500.

New York was the early epicenter of the U.S. outbreak. It was able to slow the spread after Cuomo shut down businesses and ordered residents to stay at home. He reopened the state by region and in phases. Cuomo had said he expected a resurgence as the weather got colder and more people remained indoors.

Just days ago, the governor had warned residents that without a change in the trajectory, the state would be forced to shut down in January.

The state’s Finger Lakes region is in the worst shape, with more than 8% positivity. New York City’s rate is about 4%, but it is a source of concern because of its high density. Cuomo ordered the city’s indoor dining closed on Dec. 14.

The state is working to slow the spread as it begins administering the Covid-19 vaccine. To date, 19,000 New Yorkers have been vaccinated statewide, Cuomo said.

The Pfizer vaccine is currently being delivered to 292 sites around the state. A total of 170,000 Pfizer doses are being distributed.

New York’s vaccine task force gave the Moderna vaccine its approval this morning. The state expects to receive 346,000 doses of the vaccine next week, Cuomo said.

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