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NYS Coronavirus Update: Open Enrollment Extended for Health Plans -- Finger Lakes Region Still a Concern

Dec 17, 2020

- On this snowy day, I have a simple message that we can all agree with. We want to slow the spread, we want to avoid shutdowns, and together we can do it. We slow the spread by being smart during the holiday season. It's a difficult situation and people need to come together. There's a feeling of safety in your home and there's a feeling of safety when you're with your family, but it just takes one person infected who doesn't know it and living room spread happens. Half of all cases are from people who had no symptoms. So please be careful and stay safe.

Two people sled in Long Island.
Photo of the Day: Residents take advantage of the snowfall to sled at Mattlin Middle School in Plainview, New York (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. Total COVID hospitalizations rose to 6,147—up 50 from the previous day. Of the 202,772 tests reported yesterday, 10,914, or 5.38 percent, were positive. There were 1,095 patients in the ICU yesterday, down 3 from the previous day. Of them, 611 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 120 New Yorkers to the virus.

2. The deadline to sign up for a health plan through NY State of Health has been extended. New Yorkers have two more weeks (until December 31) to enroll in a health plan that begins on January 1. "As the pandemic continues, it is especially important for New Yorkers to have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance," said Donna Frescatore, NY State of Health Executive Director. Visit their website or call 1-855-355-5777 to enroll.

3. The Finger Lakes, with 736 hospitalizations, remains a region of particular concern. It has the highest rate of COVID hospitalization as a percentage of its population, at 0.06 percent. Central New York has 386 hospitalizations (0.05 percent of its population); Western New York has 501 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); Mohawk Valley has 194 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); Long Island has 1,025 hospitalizations (0.04 percent); the Mid-Hudson region has 743 hospitalizations (0.03 percent); the Capital Region has 328 hospitalizations (0.03 percent); the Southern Tier has 170 hospitalizations (0.03 percent); and New York City has 2,005 hospitalizations (0.02 percent). The North Country, with 59 hospitalizations (0.01 percent), continues to have the lowest rate of hospitalizations due to COVID.

4. To date, New York has conducted over 22 million COVID tests. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to someone who is positive, get tested. Find a testing site near you. You can also call 1-888-364-3065 to schedule a free appointment at a New York State-run testing location.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: A black-and-white stray dog who had become a celebrity in his neighborhood in Tallinn, Estonia, is being honored with a monument. When the mutt, called Zorik, was taken from the Estonian capital to live out his last years in the country, Zorik was so missed that residents decided to erect a statue of him. After raising funds, a local artist was commissioned to build the monument, which is meant to honor not just Zorik, but all strays. This one shaggy mutt's legacy will live on for many years to come.

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