Nov 16, 2020
- Over the past six days, the United States recorded 1 million new COVID cases. The virus is spreading across the country and we see its impact in New York now too. It's not an Upstate or Downstate issueâcases are increasing throughout the state and all New Yorkers, regardless of where they live, must take action to protect themselves and each other. We continue to implement our comprehensive micro-cluster strategy and increase our testing capacity to new heights. However, our success also depends on the vigilance and commitment of New Yorkers. Wash your hands, stay socially distanced, wear a mask and limit or avoid gatherings. We're going to get through this pandemic, but only if we do it together and stay New York Tough.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. The statewide positivity rate is 2.80 percent. In the micro-cluster focus areas, the positivity rate was 4.19 percent. Excluding these areas, it was 2.50 percent. Of the 124,565 tests reported yesterday, 3,490, or 2.80 percent, were positive. Total hospitalizations rose to 1,968. Sadly, we lost 25 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. Today, the State launched a new web application to help New Yorkers find state services and benefits. The "Find Services" web application was developed in partnership with Google.org, to assist New Yorkers in locating appropriate services with one streamlined web application. Due to the pandemic, unfortunately, we're seeing an unprecedented demand for social services and this application provides an easy-to-use starting point for first-time program users.
3. Remember, indoor gatherings pose a serious risk for spreading COVID. Gatherings inside or outside of private homes are now limited to 10 people or fewer. If you are indoors with visitors, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of spread: Open windows to increase airflow, wear masks, keep distance and shorten the duration of the visit.
4. Tonight is the first night of Central New York's "Lights on the Lake" holiday tradition. The annual holiday tradition, featuring decorative holiday light displays, will be held as a drive-thru event due to the pandemic. To ensure social distancing, no runners or walkers will be allowed to walk the route but residents can still get into the holiday spirit safely.
5. Instead of having an in-person Thanksgiving dinner this year, consider a virtual alternative. To help facilitate virtual Thanksgiving celebrations during the pandemic, Zoom will lift its 40-minute meeting limit. The extended service will be available starting midnight on November 26th, Thanksgiving Day, through Friday, November 27th at 5 a.m. This Thanksgiving, spread thanks, not COVID.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Members of the Shirley, Long Island community came together over the past few months to help Jean Littman, an 88-year-old Korean War veteran, with home maintenance. From redoing Jean's fencing to cleaning up large tree branches, the community stepped up to make sure Jean's safe and to thank Jean for her service in the U.S. Marines. As the hamlet of Shirley proved, New York is one community, and New Yorkers look out for one another.