Gov. Hochul on Saturday said New York’s battle to beat COVID-19 continues to make progress, but warned “our work is not yet done.”
On Friday, 5,030 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19 — with 1,656 in New York City; the state’s positivity rate was 3.2%, and 3.28% on a seven-day rolling average.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 60.6% of New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated, the governor reported.
That’s better than the national average — reported by Johns Hopkins University at 53.5% — but Hochul says New York still has a way to go.
“While we know we’ve come a long way in beating back the virus and getting a good number of New Yorkers vaccinated, our work is not yet done, my friends,” Hochul said.
“COVID is still out there, and we cannot get complacent because we all know what it’s capable of. If you still need to get vaccinated, it’s imperative that you do so as soon as possible because your safety and the safety of others is on the line.”
There were 28 new deaths statewide on Friday, and 67,962 vaccine doses administered over the last 24 hours, the governor said.
Vaccinations have become a flash point in New York City as public schools ready to open their doors Sept. 13.
Last month, Mayor de Blasio mandated the more than 148,000 teachers and staff working in city public schools to have proof of at least one dose of a COVID shot by Sept. 27. That overrode a previous rule that required all city workers to either show proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing and be required to wear masks indoors.
The city teachers union pushed back, filing a complaint Thursday with a state labor board over an “impasse” in negotiations over the implementation of the mandate.
United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew said the dispute hinges on differing views of what should happen to Department of Education employees who receive medical or religious exemptions. He estimated 80% of union members are vaccinated, though the city’s estimate is 71%. Mulgrew said the lower number only counts those who got the shots in the five boroughs.
According to the Johns Hopkins COVID website, among the places where a greater percentage of adults are fully vaccinated than New York are the District of Columbia, at 72.8%; New Jersey, at 63.3%, Connecticut, at 66.2%, and Vermont, at 70.5%.