NYS Coronavirus Update: New Testing Milestone -- Updated CDC Mask Guidance

Dec 4, 2020

- I understand COVID fatigue—we all are tired and exhausted by this pandemic. But we can't give in to it. We can't let hospitalizations climb. Contact tracing data suggests that small indoor gatherings are a source of as much as 70 percent of infections. While I can understand why there is a desire to gather, we can't give in to it this holiday season. We have regulations in place for a compelling reason: to safeguard the public health, keep people out of hospitals and save lives.

Local governments must enforce compliance. If they don't enforce the restrictions it will not help us. But each of us needs to help too. How? It's simple: Follow health guidelines, avoid gatherings where COVID can spread and (you guessed it) wear a mask—including in all indoor settings when outside of your own household.

Photo of the Day: A woman looks at a holiday display outside of Macy's in Herald Square, New York City
(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)


Here's what else you need to know tonight:


1. There were over 10,000 positive cases yesterday. Of the 208,297 tests reported yesterday, 11,271, or 5.41 percent, were positive. The positivity rate in the micro-cluster focus areas was 7.35 percent. Excluding these areas, it was 4.79 percent.


2. Total hospitalizations rose to 4,222. There were 795 patients in ICU yesterday, up 12 from the previous day. Of them, 403 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 60 New Yorkers to the virus.


3. New York State will opt in to a federal program to vaccinate nursing home residents and staff. The state expects to have enough vaccines for one-third of high-risk health care workers, assuming the federal approval process happens on schedule.


4. The CDC today recommended the "universal use of face masks" to fight COVID, further backing up New York's mask policies. The agency stressed the need for people to wear masks in all non-household indoor settings. As a reminder, New York State law requires everyone over age 2 who can medically tolerate a face covering to wear one when in public if unable to maintain at least six feet of distance from others. It's also an excellent practice in private settings outside of your own household.


5. As cases across the country continue to rise, the American people need support from the federal government. Today, National Governors Association Vice Chairman Asa Hutchinson and I issued a statement calling for Congress to deliver a COVID relief bill before recessing. This is a national crisis, cutting across geographic, economic and demographic lines, and it demands a national, bipartisan solution. Congress should not leave Washington for the holiday recess without enacting a much-needed COVID relief package. Read the full statement here.


6. New York reached a testing milestone today, with 20 million COVID tests conducted to date. For context, there are about 19 million New Yorkers. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to someone positive for COVID, get tested. Find a testing site near you. You can also call 1-888-364-3065 to make a free appointment at a New York State-run testing location.


Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: When Nyack resident Anna Solveig Sicari visited her parents recently, she brought along some unusual guests with her—two Nigerian dwarf goats named Sawyer and Scout. Sicari works at a therapeutic boarding school in Rockland County and oversees the school's animal care program. Over the holiday weekend, she treated the goats to some spectacular New York hiking—taking them to the Pinnacle overlooking Lake George and around trails in the Catskills. We hope they enjoyed the view!


andrew-cuomo-news-conference.jpgIf you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to New York State's Coronavirus Updates here.
Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo