New York shattered another record on Christmas eve with 49,708 new COVID-19 cases, breaking its previous top figure by thousands as one-in-seven tests come back positive in the Empire State.
It’s more than double the seven-day average the state reported during last winter’s surge, which peaked at 19,942 cases January 14.
The latest results reinforce New York’s place as America’s Omicron variant epicenter, although hospitalizations remain far lower than they were at the height of the first wave during spring 2020.
Another 36,454 cases were confirmed Christmas Day in New York, though that figure is likely lower lower due to labs being closed on the holiday.
Positivity rates have also skyrocketed, with 14 percent of tests coming back positive, Governor Kathy Hochul said Sunday as the state struggles to get a grip on the virus.
‘As we come home from holiday gatherings, it is as important as ever to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 this season,’ Hochul said in a statement. ‘Wear your mask, wash your hands, and if you haven’t yet, get vaccinated and boosted.
‘The vaccine is the best tool we have to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe as we head into the new year. Take advantage of having it readily available and get yours today.’
New York’s latest data indicates 4,891 people are hospitalized statewide with the virus, including 880 in the intensive care unit. Right now, 501 people are intubated.
It’s significantly less than the 18,825 New Yorkers hospitalized April 9, 2020, during the height of Covid’s first wave. Last winter’s wave peaked January 19 with 9,273 cases.