Yesterday, Hochul headed to Washington to be present when Pres. Joe Biden signed the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill aimed, at least in part, at helping states like New York foot the bill for COVID response. Meanwhile, COVID cases at schools appear to be growing swiftly. Last week, Hochul announced that the state would be giving out 50 full scholarships for kids 5-11 who get vaccinated to a SUNY or CUNY school.
Recognizing waning immunity over time, the governor announced the state is expanding access to COVID booster shots for New Yorkers 18 and older. Those adults living in a high transmission area—as designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—can get the booster shot if they want one. The CDC recommends booster shots six months after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two months after the Johnson & Johnson dose.
Noting that COVID rates are rising recently in all corners of the state, the governor said COVID-19 restrictions could potentially be put back in place should the troubling trends continue. “If the numbers don’t start on a downward trend, we’re going to have to talk about tighter protocols,” she said. “This is the warning, and I hope the community will listen because it doesn’t have to be this way.”
The governor said vaccination remains the best option for reducing spread, hospitalization, and death pertaining to the pandemic. The state’s vaccination progress, according to the governor Tuesday, is as follows:
- 28,555,661 total doses administered
- 53,987 vaccine doses administered in past 24 hours
- 89.10% of New Yorkers 18 and older with at least one dose
- 79.8% of New Yorkers 18 and older fully vaccinated
- 71.30% of New Yorkers aged 12-17 with at least one dose
- 62.90% of New Yorkers aged 12-17 fully vaccinated.
Regarding breakthrough cases in New York, the governor reported a slight uptick week over week in percentage of breakthrough cases and hospitalizations. She said breakthrough cases accounted for 1.2% of new COVID-19 cases in New York over the past seven days, and 0.08% of COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide, up from 1.1% and 0.07%, respectively, a week ago.