COVID-19 continues to spread at alarming rates, especially in New York, with the state seeing the highest volume of cases to date during the pandemic.

In a COVID briefing on Monday, December 27th, Governor Hochul provided a number of updates to New York State residents on response efforts and current levels statewide.

While we reported percentages early Monday morning from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, in her briefing, Governor Hochul indicated that when it comes to the actual numbers, there were 86,182 new confirmed cases.  When it comes to hospitalizations, New York saw an increase of more than 1,000 since before the holiday, with 5,000 current COVID hospitalizations at this time.  An updated number of 132 reported COVID-19 deaths statewide in New York across Saturday and Sunday was also reported.

When it comes to local numbers, with the 7-day average for cases per hundred thousand people, the Hudson Valley is showing 141.03.  Statewide numbers indicate a higher rate, at 180 per hundred thousand.

Another concern brought up during the COVID briefing is the alarming number of children being hospitalized with the virus.  In fact, the New York State Department of Health sent a notice to doctors on Friday, Christmas Eve, indicating an upward trend in pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Though many of the recent infections are concentrated in the New York City/surrounding metro area, those with young children are advised to stay cautious, and not assume that even a mild illness is a common cold, always test for COVID-19.

Dr. Mary Bassett, Acting State Health Commissioner, reminds parents that the risks of COVID-19 for children are real and that they should take urgent action to protect our children, get those who are eligible vaccinated, and be sure to practice social distancing and masking.

There are a number of concerns when it comes to kids returning to classrooms after winter break, while most agree that returning to a remote option is not the ideal scenario.  In her press conference, Governor Hochul stated 'it is not a good option to say children are going to be returning home again.'

Statewide, three million testing kits, which totals six million tests, will be going to New York school districts, with two million going to New York City schools.  This is part of the plan to ensure that schools stay open, even though, as the Governor and NYS Health Commissioner have indicated, most cases are not being transmitted in schools.

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