covid cases
Gov. Kathy Hochul toured the Brookhaven National Laboratory for BioMolecular Structure, then presented a Covid-19 update. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

New York continues to see a decrease in Covid-19 cases as the state gradually recovers from the winter holiday surge of Omicron, with the positivity rate dipping below 10% for the first time in a month, Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a visit to Brookhaven National Laboratories on Friday.

Hochul visited to tour the lab in Suffolk County and to give New Yorkers an update on the state’s progress combating the pandemic. The statewide Covid positivity rate was 9.75% on Thursday, the first time it has been in the single-digits since Dec. 20, 2021, Hochul said. 

“I want to thank New Yorkers for doing the right thing to get where we are in fighting this winter surge,” Hochul said. “However, this isn’t the time to take our foot off the gas. Let’s keep using the tools – the vaccine, the booster and masking up – to further bring the numbers down and keep our vulnerable loved ones safe from this virus.”

On Long Island, about 3,500 people tested positive for Covid on Thursday. That’s a 75% decrease from 14,000 New Yorkers testing positive on Jan. 2, Hochul noted. 

The state saw 154 deaths from Covid-19 on Thursday, and 11,016 people hospitalized. The hospitalization rate has dropped by 25% in the past week. Of all the patients with Covid-19 in hospitals in New York, 43.5% were admitted for non-Covid-related reasons but tested positive after admission, Hochul noted.

During the briefing, Hochul stressed that more children need to get vaccinated to stop the spread of Covid. She announced several new pop-up vaccination sites across the state for children five and older, including one at Dix Hills Fire Department, which will be open Wednesday, Jan. 26 from 2 to 7 p.m.

The governor also noted that the state has secured 73 million Covid-19 tests to distribute to nursing homes, congregate settings, schools, counties, and child care facilities across the state. She is also deploying more National Guard staff to assist at nursing homes.

The Covid-19 positivity rate on a seven-day average is about 12.3% statewide and 14.4% on Long Island.

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus.

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