Gov. Hochul orders 12 million more tests to combat Omicron, more MTA, SUNY sites

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers her first State of the State address in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Albany, N.Y. Hochul, a moderate Democrat, is facing pressure in budget negotiations from her party's more liberal wing ahead of the June primary.
Associated Press /Hans Pennink, Pool, File

New York Governor, Kathy Hochul has announced that her office has ordered an additional 12 million COVID tests this week, bringing the total tests ordered to 49 million. “On top of our 1,800+ testing sites, starting next week, four additional MTA testing sites will open, and 20 total SUNY campuses will offer testing,” she said, imploring people to find a testing sight them.

As of Jan. 8, 2022, 11,747 New Yorkers are hospitalized with COVID-19. Our seven-day percentage positivity average is 21.71%, which is up from 21.49% last week. There were 379.43 cases per 100K statewide, according to a release from Gov. Hochul’s office.

According to the CDC as of the same date, 95.0% of adult New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose. So far, 34,384,727 total vaccine doses have been administered, and 86,927 doses have been administered over the past 24 hours.

In a Happy New Year message, Gov. Hochul said “It has been a busy week. On Wednesday, I delivered my first State of the State address, where I laid out my vision for our comeback from COVID and for using this opportunity to unlock a whole New Era for New York. Learn more about that vision.”

“We continue to fight the winter surge and closely monitor hospitalizations. Over 95% of New Yorkers have at least one vaccine dose, and booster rates continue to climb — people are using the tools known to prevent severe illness, and that’s great news! However, only 31% of children ages 5-11 are partly vaccinated. Parents and guardians: Please get your children vaccinated, said the statement, she encouraged.

“As part of our Winter Surge Plan, we continue to make vaccines, boosters, testing, and masks more widely available — and are working to support hospitals and keep schools open. Let’s dive in,” she said.

Last week, we delivered 6.18 million tests to schools, including more than three million to New York City schools. Public and charter schools have the tests to implement Test to Stay next week, and more tests are on the way.”

According to the politician, health care workers are required to take the booster, adding, “We’ve seen facilities stressed because some are unvaccinated, and others are vaccinated but not boosted. That’s why I announced a plan for a first-in-the nation booster requirement for health care workers. More is coming on this soon.”

Additionally, she said the protection of nursing home residents, is paramount. “I understand how important it is to stay connected with loved ones in nursing homes. That’s why I announced new requirements to keep visitors and residents safe. Starting Wednesday, visitors must wear “surgical”-type masks and have a negative COVID test within 24 hours of visiting.”

The politician noted that, new guidance recommends booster doses for all New Yorkers ages 12 and older. The guidance, following action by the CDC, recommends that people, including the newly authorized 12–15-year-old age, group, who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should receive a booster dose at least fivemonths after their second dose; the previous recommended interval was at least six months. In addition, moderately to immunocompromised 5-11-years can receive an additional primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 28 days after their second dose.”

“At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children ages 5-11,” said Hochul.

The release said all state mass vaccination sites are now offering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster doses for New Yorkers 12 years of age and older, as well as third doses for immunocompromised people five years and older. For more information on boosters and additional doses, go to https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/booster-doses.

“Keep using the tools we know can beat back the virus: get vaccinated, get boosted, get tested, and wear a mask,” urged Hochul.

More from Around NYC