NYS records 1 million COVID-19 cases

Jan 4, 2021

New York State has recorded more than 1 million positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

That's according to figures released Saturday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. According to the state's data, the roughly 15,000 new positive tests reported statewide on Friday bring the total number of cases over 1 million.

Saturday's numbers:

  • 7,963 patient hospitalizations statewide 
  • 1,344 patients in the ICU, 815 intubated
  • positivity rate is 7.98% statewide, 8.43% Western New York region
  • 138 COVID-19 deaths statewide

Experts say the official number of coronavirus cases represents a significant undercount, since many people in the New York City area were infected with the coronavirus last spring when testing was largely unavailable.

New York is the fourth state to report more than 1 million positive COVID-19 tests after California, Texas and Florida.

Healthcare workers in New York are among the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Credit Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

On Sunday, Cuomo said he won't receive the coronavirus vaccine until Black, Hispanic and poor New Yorkers in his age group are able to receive it. Cuomo made the pledge Sunday during recorded remarks to the congregation at Abyssinian Baptist Church.

"One of our pressing challenges is to make sure that the vaccine is made available fairly," Cuomo said. "COVID exposed many existing injustices in our society. It showed us the health disparities that exist and how many communities don't have fair access to healthcare. COVID showed that racism is a public health crisis also. COVID killed Black people in this country at two timed the rate of white people and Hispanic people at 1.5 times the rate of white people. Testing for COVID was more available in richer, whiter communities, and the infection rate was higher in Black, Hispanic and poor communities. This can't happen again and it can't happen with this vaccine."

Cuomo is considered an essential worker and would be eligible to receive the vaccine in the second phase of distribution, after healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staff. But he says he will wait until it is available to the general public, including underserved communities.