Upstate New York orange, yellow COVID-19 zone restrictions lifted

Coronavirus

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC, WIVB) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a briefing Wednesday to update New Yorkers on the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts.

On day 333 of the pandemic in New York, the governor provided the following data:

  • 5.44% positivity rate statewide Tuesday
  • 202,661 tests reported
  • 170 new COVID-19 deaths statewide
  • 8,771 hospitalized
  • 1,588 in ICU
  • 1,027 intubated

“Hospitalizations are down 60 from 24 hours prior so that’s good news,” Gov. Cuomo said. “All the numbers are down across the state.”

Due to drops in positivity rate across the state, the governor says COVID-19 zones are lifted for everywhere in New York state, except a few downstate areas, including spots in the Bronx, Queens, Washington Heights, and Newburgh.

That means microcluster restrictions in Erie, Niagara, and Genesee Counties no longer exist. As a result, restaurants can now sit a maximum of 10 people at a table, rather than four. Schools formerly in orange and yellow zones no longer need to adhere to testing requirements to remain open for in-person instruction.

The majority of New York’s COVID-19 zones haven’t been updated since late November.

The governor said vaccine administration has ramped up statewide, but supply issues persist.

“Overall 96% of the dosages received are in arms,” Gov. Cuomo said. “So we’re functionally out of doses and we now go week-to-week. Next week’s allocation is coming in today, tomorrow, the next day, but we are now going week-to-week waiting for the allocation from the federal government.
It has been very difficult to plan up until now, because we don’t know what we’re going to get next week in allocation.”

The governor said President Joe Biden’s national vaccination plan includes 16% more vaccine allocation for New York.

“We’re going to get 16% more allocation,” Gov. Cuomo said. “So 250,000 per week, up 16%, and frankly just as important, that’s going to be the allocation for the next there weeks so now we can come up with a three week plan. That doesn’t sound great, but it’s better than going week-to-week.”

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