New York City COVID-19 hospitalizations back over threshold with infection rates bordering 8%

Workers of the FDNY EMS receive COVID-19 Moderna vaccine in New York
A worker of the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (FDNY EMS) receives a COVID-19 Moderna vaccine, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 23, 2020.
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The number of New York City residents hospitalized with possible COVID-19 has passed the city’s threshold again hitting 242 with 59% of those admitted testing positive for the virus, according to city data. 

In addition, the city’s COVID-19 positivity rate based on a rolling seven-day average continues to go up, now reaching 7.93%, a 0.34% increase from yesterday’s numbers. The number of confirmed new cases of the virus has also soared to 2, 498 on top of  771 probable cases of the virus. 

On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio described the data as “unusual” due to different city testing patterns because of the Christmas holiday saying that health officials cautioned the city to “take these numbers with a grain of salt.” 

The data comes as the United States breaks its own record for the number of coronavirus-related deaths in a single day with 3,725 dying from the virus on Tuesday, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, despite states beginning to distribute two recently approved vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. 

Since shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine first arrived in the state earlier this month,  over 78, 530 doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the five boroughs. 

So far, a total of 140,000 New York state frontline workers and nursing home residents have received the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Both vaccines require that the recipient receive two doses, spread out over roughly three weeks, in order to inoculate them from the virus. Moderna and Pfizer say the vaccines have about a 95% efficacy rate in decreasing symptomatic COVID-19  infections. 

Only a handful of severe allergic reactions to the vaccine have been reported but many vaccine recipients have reported suffering side effects including fever, headache, and fatigue after receiving the shot. At the moment, the state is in phase one of its vaccine distribution plan which means only health care workers with a high risks of contracting the virus, nursing home residents and staff and some other essential workers may receive the first dose of the vaccine. Governor Andrew Cuomo said Phase 2 of the plan could come late next month.