NEW YORK: New York City will close out the year with 3,925 people hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 as the omicron surge continues to ravage the region. Across the state, 7,919 people were hospitalized and 76,555 new cases were reported Friday, said Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The state is averaging 271 cases per 100,00 people. There were 80 deaths related to COVID a day earlier.
"We are seeing more cases but not the correlating number of deaths," said Hochul during a briefing from Albany. "That is a good number. As soon as we can start the downward spike of this trend I'm certain the deaths will decline."
Along with the new, staggering statistics, Hochul announced that she was extending the indoor mask mandate for public places that do not have a vaccine protocol to Feb. 1, 2022. It was set to expire Jan.15, 2022.
Also, 50 National Guard personnel would be deployed to the city and 80 service members would be trained in EMT services to help in the COVID response.
Hochul said she would ask the federal government to allow the state to require nursing home visitors to be vaccinated for the next two weeks.
"It did not have to be this way if we had more people fully vaccinated," added Hochul.
Two more testing sites were expected to open in the coming days within the NYC subway system bringing the total to seven.
Hochul also announced new vaccine guidance for SUNY and CUNY schools. The new rules require all students to be boosted by Jan. 15, 2022 or as soon as the needed time period has passed since their last dose.
The vaccine mandate would also be extended to staff.
"The other alternative is to say to shut it all down. You can shut it all down. Everybody stay home, lock downs. Shut down business. Shut down all the little shops, plays and all these other experiences. The reason we don't have to do this is because we have all the defenses in place, the testing, the vaccines, the booster shots, the masks."