New York COVID deaths, hospitalizations inch up


New York is in a race to see if the vaccine can outstrip the virus.

The state recorded 127 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, up from 120 the day before, and another 737 New Yorkers were hospitalized, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday. The numbers bring the death toll to 28,474 and hospitalizations to 6,208.

The statewide testing positivity rate inched higher as well Friday, climbing to 5.18 percent from 5.09 percent on Thursday.

New York City recorded 31 deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 19,949. Hospitalizations rose by 54, to 2,038.

The city’s positivity rate stood at 4.22% on Friday, up from 4.14 on Thursday. Staten Island had the highest rate — 5.3%. The rates of the other boroughs: Queens, 4.8%; the Bronx, 4.78%; Brooklyn, 4.33%; and Manhattan, 2.77. The number of deaths totaled 31.

While not increasing quickly, the numbers are still heading higher at a crucial moment for the state.

“With the vaccine now in hand, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but how fast we get there all depends on our actions,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The state is moving quickly to distribute the vaccine, he said. But until it is widely distributed, slowing the virus will still require public diligence.

“New Yorkers have proven themselves time and time again throughout this pandemic, and I believe we can learn from what we saw during Thanksgiving,” Cuomo said.

“If we stay tough and be smart by socially distancing and wearing masks, we can avoid the holiday surge the experts are predicting and finally win this war.”

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