New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening now, which includes zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and gyms. A look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
The positivity rate in New York state for COVID-19 tests remains below 1% as the state posted a record-high number of test results, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
Of the 110,444 tests reported Friday, 986 cases, or 0.89% were positive. Two people died of COVID-19, one in Queens and one in Erie County.
There were 467 patients hospitalized, down 11 from the day before, in 31 counties; 61 newly admitted patients; and 144 patients in intensive care units, an increase of 3 patients from the day before.
"When we first started this journey a few months ago, we only had the capacity to do a few hundred tests per day - we have now reached a new record with over 110,000 tests reported to the State in one day," Cuomo said in a release Saturday. "Despite testing more than most other states, our infection rate remains below one percent. But this pandemic is not over. We must protect our progress, and it's going to take all of us to keep up our hard work to do so. Everyone must continue to wash their hands, wear their masks, remain socially distant and above all, stay New York Tough."
NJ Concerned About "Back-To-Back Days" Of High Case Numbers
12:45 p.m. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy repeated his worries over managing the pandemic as cases have been creeping up in the state. Noting the "back-to-back days where we clocked big numbers," Murphy urged people to remain alert and compliance with guidance.
"I plead — if you are worshipping this weekend and celebrating and observing the new year, please do so responsibly," he said on Friday. "Please, please, please."
On Thursday, the state reported 617 cases—the highest daily caseload since August—and 519 on Friday. Murphy said it did not appear that there were any cases related to the reopening of indoor dining, gyms, or movie theaters—all of which are operating at 25% capacity—which began on September 4th. However, officials believe the high numbers appear to stem from people socializing closely at house parties, with most cases have been young people ages 14 to 24.
State epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan added that while it's true younger people are less likely to develop complications or more serious illness from COVID-19, "They pose a risk to other individuals who might have underlying medical conditions... We're still seeing deaths, we're still seeing hospitalizations."
In newly released numbers, NJ noted there were 489 cases on Saturday (with a positivity rate of, according to CovidActNow, around 2%); since September 1st, cases have swung between 306 and 617. Murphy acknowledged that NJ has a low positivity rate relative to the rest of the country, but "I worry that folks take it for granted," he admitted, and will not be as compliant.
"Please don't let your guard down," he said. "We've come an enormous distance in the six months we've been at this."