Hospitalizations in NY have gone up 70% since Thanksgiving: “This is a crisis of the unvaccinated,” Gov. Hochul said

Hospitalizations in NY have gone up 70% since Thanksgiving: “This is a crisis of the unvaccinated,” Gov. Hochul said

By Yehudit Garmaise

“We are experiencing a holiday surge,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said this morning as she explained why she issued on Friday: a new mask requirement for all businesses that don't require their workers, customers, and visitors to present proof of vaccination. “

"My objectives are to protect the health of New Yorkers and to protect the health of the state’s economy,” Gov. Hochul said.

The current holiday surge, Gov. Hochul said, “is a crisis of the unvaccinated.”

The crisis, she said was “totally preventable.”

“If I sound frustrated, perhaps I am.”

“This did not have to be.”

While New York has administered 30 million shots in arms, the governor said, 30% of New Yorkers remain unvaccinated.

“The vaccine has been widely available to everyone,” said the governor, on the one year anniversary of NYC nurse Sandra Lindsay getting the first vaccine shot in the US. “If we had a 100% vaccination rate, we wouldn’t be here,” still talking about COVID and urging mask use.

“Vaccinations have always been our ticket out, and their availability was “our turning point in our war against COVID.”

“If every New Yorker got vaccinated and got boosted, I would not have to give COVID updates:  This would be in the rear-view mirror.”

New York’s increased COVID cases, while concerning, “are not a surprise,” said Gov. Hochul, who remembered being worried since early fall, about surges that could arise from gatherings that result from the season’s many holidays.

 Since Thanksgiving, statewide hospitalizations have shot up 70% since, although, when Gov. Hochul make her announcement on Friday, the rates had only gone up 29%.

 In addition, New York’s statewide COVID average rate has gone up 58%, said the governor, who reminded reporters that when she spoke last week, the state’s rate had only gone up 43%.

“Those [increases] were the triggers to say, ‘This is enough,’” said Gov. Hochul, who pointed out that those rates cannot be 100% accurate because the state, which only can look at COVID rates per 100,000, does not control how many people are being tested.

“People do home-testing now and at their workplaces, so we don’t have a clear picture of getting those results in real time.”

 Regardless of precise accuracy, “The [COVID] numbers are not trending in the right direction.”

 As COVID rates started to creep up, the governor originally thought to issue mask requirements county-by county, but when cases started to go up dramatically statewide, she said, a state-wide mandate became necessary," although many counties have already said that they will not enforce the state's mask mandate.

“Look what has happened: Just in that short time,” Gov. Hochul said. “We warned, and we anticipated a spike after Thanksgiving, and it has arrived.

“This is an alarming jump state-wide.”

Gov. Hochul addressed the state’s businesses, when she said, “My objective with mask or vax update has been to keep your doors open.

“You are a critical part of your state’s economy. A place where people have jobs.

“This mask mandate,” which Gov. Hochul called “truly a minor infringement,” gives businesses two options: Require your employees to get fully vaccinated and enforce it, or if you do not want to ask people to vaccinate: ask people to mask and prevent a devastating effect on the economy.”

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