Gov. Hochul on COVID increase: ‘We are not through this yet’

The winter rise driven by the COVID-19 omicron variant continued to level off in New York, albeit somewhat unevenly, as some daily measurements fell slightly while others went up, Governor Kathy Hochul said Saturday.

Hochul made it clear that the state was by no means out of the danger zone with the virus, but the number of cases, deaths and hospitalizations no longer skyrocketed.

“We are turning the corner with the winter wave, but we are not through this yet,” she said in a statement. “Please keep getting vaccinated, get the booster dose, get our kids vaccinated and wear non-drug masks.”

The number of new cases in the state was 47,870 on Friday, down from 49,027 the day before – and a bit away from the record 90,132 on January 7, state figures showed.

Nassau County had 3,154 new cases, a slight decrease from 3,195 the day before. Suffolk had 3,563 new cases, more than the 3,342 the day before, according to state figures. Nevertheless, the island sees about half of the cases it had seen during the peak of the winter wave about a week ago.

There were 187 deaths in the state, up from 177 the day before. The deaths included 14 people in Nassau and 16 in Suffolk.

Daily positivity rate

Nassau: 16.4%

Suffolk: 19.1%

All over the country: 14.62%

7-day positivity rate

Nassau: 20.0%

Suffolk: 21.8%

All over the country: 17.59%

Source: New York State Department of Health

Decreases in the number of deaths can lag somewhat behind the overall fall in cases, said Dr. Bruce Farber, Head of Epidemiology and Public Health at Northwell Health.

“The number of deaths is declining more slowly,” Farber said. “Honestly, it takes time for an infected person to get sick. And they can live for a period of time on a respirator in the hospital.”

Farber said the downward trend in measurements will not be a straight line, that it may be somewhat thankful.

“It looks like we’ve reached the top or the plateau,” he said. “With a little luck, we’ll see significant declines in the next few weeks.”

State hospital admissions fell by 38 to 12,169, the numbers said. However, the number of people in the intensive care unit increased by 34 to 1,653.

The state’s percentage of positive daily cases was 14.62%, a big reduction from the 23.17% increase on Jan. 2, figures said.

Meanwhile, Long Island’s seven-day average percentage of positive test results continued to decline, from 23.29% on Wednesday to 22.17% on Thursday to the current 20.86%, the figures showed.

New York City saw 23,054 cases, down from 31,530 the day before – and a sharp drop from 44,278 cases on January 6.

On Long Island, a total of 1,987 additional people completed their vaccine series on Friday, to a total of 1.87 million. In addition, 9,626 people received the booster on Friday, bringing the total to 793,642, state figures showed.

Hochul went on to urge New Yorkers to take precautions against the virus.

“Let’s not regret all the hard work we’ve put into getting the numbers down,” she said.

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