Nicole Epstein, with Gotham Public Relations, sends in a quick recap of Governor Cuomo's COVID-19 briefings. Here are her notes from Governor Cuomo’s conference call:

Starting Monday, NYS will begin scheduling vaccinations for the next group of people (1b) - INCLUDING SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS!


  • Day 314
  • Statewide positivity rate without micro-clusters: 7.49%
  • Statewide rate with micro-clusters: 7.7%
  • Micro-cluster rate: 8.3%
  • 243,000 tests conducted
  • 161 deaths
  • 8,561 hospitalizations, up 13
  • 1,475 ICU patients, up 51
  • 912 intubations, up 53

Hospitalizations by Region:

  • Capital Region: 515 (0.05%)
  • Central NY: 374 (0.05%)
  • Finger Lakes: 905 (0.08%)
  • Long Island: 1,552 (0.05%)
  • Mid Hudson: 980 (0.04%)
  • Mohawk Valley: 321 (0.07%)
  • North Country: 106 (0.03%)
  • NYC: 3,066 (0.04%)
  • Southern Tier: 212 (0.03%)
  • Western NY: 530 (0.04%)

Positivity by Region:

  • Bronx: 8.21%
  • Brooklyn: 6.70%
  • Capital Region: 10.16%
  • Central NY: 8.57%
  • Finger Lakes: 10.22%
  • Long Island: 9.68%
  • Manhattan: 4.45%
  • Mid Hudson: 8.12%
  • Mohawk Valley: 10.80%
  • North Country: 8.45%
  • NYC: 6.42%
  • Queens: 7.49%
  • Southern Tier: 5.30%
  • Staten Island: 7.84%
  • Western NY: 8.61%


  • Governor cautioned "frightening infection rate" of new strain, combined with low supply of the vaccine can still cause stress on the hospital system
  • State is concerned about low vaccination rate for healthcare workers, particularly in New York City, which is currently at 13%
  • New distribution networks will be added to supplement the hospitals
  • Private providers, ambulatory centers, pharmacies, county health departments will begin being utilized next week
  • On Monday, reservations for vaccinations will be accepted, the state will have a website to sign up
  • Healthcare workers must continue to be prioritized, but the next tier (1b) will be eligible as well
  • NYSDOH will hold a webinar on Monday for new providers, county DOHs
  • State will allocate to distribution network proportionately by population of each group and region
  • State will be mandating social equity distribution by local health departments
  • Governor signing an EO making additional staff eligible to administer vaccinations
  • DOH is setting up 20 "mass distribution sites" in the coming weeks: Javits Center will be open next Wednesday
  • Governor noted at the current rate, the first two tiers (1a) and (1b) will not be completed until mid-April


  • Governor further condemned the events at the U.S. Capitol, and President Trump's actions
  • Governor questioned the lack of security at the Capitol
  • Governor stated President Trump should resign, or should be impeached if he refuses
  • He further called on NY federal officials to call for Trump's resignation

State of the State:

  • Will be on Monday, will be focused on specific initiatives, post-COVID issues
  • Governor proposing legislation to process absentee ballots as soon as they're received and begin being counted on Election Day
  • Also to extend early voting hours, and extend timeframe to request absentee ballot to 45 days before an election
  • Governor will propose legislation to create an Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, and to authorize courts to force abusers to pay damages, including housing and moving costs
  • Legislation will also create new misdemeanor for those convicted of domestic violence attempting to purchase guns, closing a loophole in existing law
  • Also proposing legislation for a statewide eviction moratorium on commercial evictions to be extended until May 1
  • Also, penalties for late residential rent payments will be prohibited through May 1
  • Governor also announced the creation of a new public space at Pier 76 on the west side of Manhattan, where a tow pound currently exists
  • By law, NYPD had to vacate this space by January 1, it will be transferred to Hudson River Park Trust, which will be accepting proposals for design this month


On whether Governor believes Rep. Stefanik is "complicit" in events at U.S. Capitol:
  • Governor referenced his earlier request that NY's federal elected officials call for the President's resignation

On orange zone in Chemung County and why this is still in effect based on numbers:
  • Governor said they will look at the numbers for this specific county, and then respond
  • As an aside, the Governor added that of 7,000 tests done in anticipation of Bills playoff game, 1.9% were positive

On when vaccinations will start for second (1b) tier:
  • Appointments can be scheduled on Monday, some pharmacies will begin administering Monday, others will take longer
  • Governor said website will be available Monday, listing available sites and accepting reservations
  • Governor added the Biden administration is currently working on increasing the supply available to states

On any updates on reallocation of vaccine from low-performing hospitals:
  • Governor responded that performance from hospitals has increased over the last week, but low-performing hospitals will not receive additional allocations
  • Governor said this issue is expected to be solved by the new distribution network being introduced next week

On current vaccination number:
  • 479,000 vaccines done so far in the state
  • Nursing home residents, staff will be completed by the end of next week

On how the state will ensure healthcare workers will continue to be prioritized:
Providers must continue to give priority to healthcare workers when scheduling appointments
  • New providers in the distribution network are required to vaccinate their own workers prior to administering the vaccine