COURIER LIFE, FEBRUARY 4-10, 2022 3
NY ‘turning the
corner’ on COVID
BY KEVIN DUGGAN
New York is “turning the corner”
on the winter surge of COVID-19
amid dropping infections and hospitalizations,
Gov. Kathy Hochul said
“We believe we’re fi nally turning
the corner on the winter wave. Just
like the snow is melting, hopefully
these numbers will continue to melt
away,” Hochul said during a COVID
press briefi ng on Feb. 1.
The latest numbers show 7,119 positive
coronavirus cases as of Jan. 31,
a 92 percent drop from three weeks
ago when the state’s Department of
Health registered a whopping 90,132
cases on Jan. 7.
The infection rate across a sevenday
average was 5.9 percent, a nearly
17-point drop from a 23 percent peak
on Jan. 2, and there were 7,100 hospitalizations,
down from a peak of 12,671
on Jan. 11, according to DOH data.
There were 122 people who died
from the virus, up from 87 the day before,
according to the governor’s offi ce.
The case numbers only refl ect
PCR tests taken at testing sites and
neither health departments in the
state nor New York City collects data
on people who do at-home tests, which
have become more widely available
during the Omicron wave.
The 11220 Zip code, which covers
Sunset Park, has seen the most
new cases over the past week, with a
7-day average of 386 new cases every
Meanwhile, the 11211 Zip code (covering
Williamsburg) has seen similarly
high case counts, with 301 new
cases each day over the past week.
Brooklyn Zip codes account for
the fi ve areas in the Big Apple with
the most cases, with Borough Park,
Brighton Beach, and Bensonhurst
also seeing alarmingly high new
Boroughwide, Kings County has
seen a 5.78 percent positivity rate of
COVID-19 cases, down from a 35.54
percent earlier this month, according
to city statistics.
While the concerns around overwhelmed
hospitals were abating,
Hochul said the pandemic was not
over yet, with vaccinations among
younger kids increasing at slow rates.
The DOH will hold a free virtual
public forum of health experts sharing
their insights and research on long
COVID Thursday, Feb. 3, examining
the longer-term symptoms affecting
some who are infected with the virus.
The governor’s mask-or-vaccine
Gov. Kathy Hochul. File photo
mandate for indoor public spaces is
set to expire by Feb. 10, but the governor
declined to say if she plans to
extend it further until the end of the
The state has struggled to get
younger New Yorkers aged 5-11 the
shots, with only 37.9 percent with at
least one dose and 28.1 percent with
both doses, far lower than their older
“We’re focused on the fact that
those numbers, as much as they’re
going upwards, are not where they
should be. They’re nowhere close to
what they should be,” Hochul said.
Drug manufacturers Pfi zer and
BioNTech are reportedly going to fi le
for emergency use of a vaccine regimen
for even younger kids aged between
six months and 5-years-old
with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
as early as Tuesday.
Almost 80 percent of 12-17-yearolds
have gotten at least one dose and
69.5 percent in that age bracket have
received both. Adults have the highest
intake rate at upwards of 95 percent
for the fi rst dose and 84 percent
for a completed vaccination series.
The New York State Consortium
on Long COVID will be on Thursday,
Feb. 3 from 8:45 am – 2:30 pm Register
online for free at ny.gov/longcovidpanel.