- Associated Press - Saturday, February 20, 2021

NEW YORK (AP) - Hospitalizations are continuing to decline and the rate of New Yorkers testing positive for COVID-19 has fallen to the lowest mark since before Thanksgiving, state officials said Saturday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate has fallen 43 straight days, hitting 3.5% on Friday. The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus, meanwhile, fell below 6,000 for the first time since Dec. 14.

The state said 97 New Yorkers died of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the state’s official death total to 37,776.

Cuomo asked New Yorkers to remain patient with the vaccinations, as the state’s distribution network and population of eligible recipients - 10 million - continues to far exceed supply coming from the federal government. The state now has the resources to vaccinate up to 100,000 New Yorkers every day, he said, but not nearly enough vaccines to do so.

“Our ability to beat back COVID is entirely dependent on our actions, and the post-holiday reduction in positivity and hospitalizations demonstrates that New Yorkers are continuing to do the right things to stay safe,” the governor said in a statement. “As these numbers go down, vaccinations are going up, and that means we’re making real progress toward the light at the end of the tunnel.”



The new numbers came as the state also launched NY PopsUp, a pilot program that will feature the first indoor live performances since the pandemic began. The festival begins Saturday at the Javits Center in Manhattan and is being coordinated with state public health officials.

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