Cuomo Says ‘Brighter Days’ Ahead as Statewide Rate Dips

NEW YORK (New York Daily News/TNS) -
Governor Andrew Cuomo.(Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/File)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday he can see “brighter days” ahead in the state’s long COVID-19 battle, reporting the current statewide positive-test rate ticked down slightly, as did a daily number of those who died from the virus.

But, he warned, even with a vaccine distribution beginning, New York is still “months” from reaching “critical mass.”

“With 2020 now behind us, we can see brighter days ahead, but to get there quickly, it’s going to take all New Yorkers staying smart and staying united,” he said.

“We have the vaccine, and that is good news, but it will be months before we’ve reached critical mass, making it as important as ever that we do not let COVID fatigue get the best of us.”

According to the latest data, the statewide COVID-19 positivity rate on Saturday was 7.45%, with 7,814 people hospitalized across the state — 1,321 of them critically ill and in ICUs, and 786 of them intubated.

The statewide rate was 7.52% on Friday, when 128 people died of COVID-19 in the state. On Thursday, 166 people died around the state.

New York City’s picture was bleaker, with a positive coronavirus test average at 6.17% on Friday — up from Thursday’s 5.85% rate; Long Island had an 8.82% average, up from 8.42% on Thursday.

Within the city, every borough’s positive testing rate has been rising over the Wednesday through Friday period, with the Bronx at the high end Friday, with a 7.65% positivity rate, and Manhattan at the lower end, with a 3.8% positivity rate.

Sobering death figures for New York City and Long Island showed 17 people died of the virus on Friday in Suffolk County, 12 in Brooklyn, and eight in Queens. There were four COVID-19 deaths each in Manhattan, the Bronx and Nassau County.

Cuomo said the state is working nonstop with the medical community to get the vaccine distributed and to grow bed capacity so hospitals don’t get overwhelmed.

“As daunting as it may seem after all this time, it’s critical that the rest of us remain tough and keep up our efforts to slow the spread,” he stated. “We’ve already come so far and we will finally reach that light at the end of the tunnel if we all just do our part.”