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:

COVID:

  • Day 311
  • Statewide positivity rate without micro-clusters: 8.2%
  • Statewide rate with micro-clusters: 8.3%
  • Micro-cluster rate: 8.8%
  • 152,402 tests conducted
  • 149 fatalities
  • 8,590 hospitalizations, up 339
  • 1,392 ICU patients, up 35
  • 851 intubations, up 8

Hospitalizations by Region:

  • Capital Region: 476 (0.04%)
  • Central NY: 397 (0.05%)
  • Finger Lakes: 929 (0.08%)
  • Long Island: 1,577 (0.06%)
  • Mid Hudson: 986 (0.04%)
  • Mohawk Valley: 309 (0.06%)
  • North Country: 87 (0.02%)
  • NYC: 3,055 (0.04%)
  • Southern Tier: 22 (0.04%)
  • Western NY: 546 (0.04%)

Positivity Rate by Region:

  • Bronx: 7.82%
  • Brooklyn: 6.25%
  • Capital Region: 10.12%
  • Central NY: 9.13%
  • Finger Lakes: 10.32%
  • Long Island: 9.61%
  • Manhattan: 3.74%
  • Mid Hudson: 8.33%
  • Mohawk Valley: 10.70%
  • North Country: 9.19%
  • NYC: 6.38%
  • Queens: 7.28%
  • Southern Tier: 5.41%
  • Staten Island: 7.85%
  • Western NY: 8.61%

Vaccine:

  • Governor explained federal government controls supply of vaccine
  • NYS has been receiving about 300,000 doses per week, approximately 1.2 million per month
  • Governor urged federal government to approve AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and increase supply from Pfizer and Moderna to speed up vaccination process
  • On distribution, the state is mostly in control, except for nursing home program, which is federally-run, but state will be supplementing this program
  • Governor reiterated hospitals need to utilize their allocations more quickly
  • 900,000 vaccines have been distributed so far to healthcare workers
  • After healthcare workers are vaccinated, essential workers and general public over 75 years of age will be priority, which is about 2.5 million people
  • For the general public, vaccine will go through retail network of pharmacies, federally-qualified health centers, county DOHs, urgent care clinics, private physicians
  • 3,762 provider sites are enrolled statewide so far, 636 already have the vaccine and are administering to healthcare workers
  • State is asking police departments, fire departments and transit workers to utilize their own medical teams to vaccinate their workers if possible
  • Governor stated this would lessen the burden on the retail network
  • Other sites will include Javits Center, churches, SUNY/CUNY facilities for drive-thrus

UK COVID Strain:

  • Governor urged anyone who may have been in contact with case in Saratoga to contact NYS DOH
  • Governor criticized the federal government's refusal to test all international travelers prior to entering the country

Q&A:

On whether the state will require hospitals post vaccination numbers online:
  • Governor said the state released yesterday ten hospitals that are using their allocation most quickly, and ten utilizing it most slowly, based on DOH data
  • Governor said the state will continue to provide this information

On what is causing lag in vaccinations for hospitals:
  • Governor denied that hospitals were given too many allocations, citing that doses are available for only half of healthcare workers so far
  • Governor stated some hospitals are simply operating better than others

On the potential legal ramifications of fining hospitals, and whether fining public hospitals will only further burden the state:
  • Governor responded the goal is to improve the vaccination rate
  • Governor stated that going forward, those hospitals that perform better will be receiving more allocations from the state

On whether additional cases of UK strain have been found related to case in Saratoga:
  • Dr. Zucker said DOH has been contact tracing these cases
  • The test for this strain takes 44 hours, has not been completed yet for additional samples

On whether retail sites will have sufficient staff, when they will open, and how residents will sign up:
  • Governor said the state is still focusing on healthcare workers currently, will be weeks before this tier is completed
  • Governor raised concerns over healthcare staff refusing to take the vaccine, stating that 25% refusal is expected and acceptable to reach critical mass
  • Governor said he is asking essential workers to utilize their own networks in order to avoid burdening the retail network once it is available to the general public

On whether the state can mandate healthcare workers receive vaccine:
  • Governor said he does not believe it has come to the point of mandating the vaccine, but there is a legal question as to whether this can be done under a federal emergency use authorization, which this vaccine has