The New York State Clinical Advisory Task Force unanimously approved the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to authorize the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday.
This task force, comprised of health experts, was created to help build trust in the vaccine.
The 170,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine should now be arriving in New York on Sunday or Monday.
In addition to these doses, Cuomo announced that the state should also be receiving 346,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which will be delivered the week of December 21.
The governor also announced new metrics when it comes to the state’s designated red, yellow and orange zones.
- RED ZONE: A region will be declared a red zone if data shows hospitals will hit 90% capacity in 21 days.
- ORANGE ZONE: A region will become an orange zone if the positivity rate is at 4% for the last 10 days OR if data shows hospitals will hit 85% hospital capacity in 21 days. The Health Department will make this determination.
- YELLOW ZONE: A region will be declared a yellow zone if the positive infection rate has been trending at 3% for the last 10 days AND the closer is in the top 10% for hospital admissions per capita over the past week. Also if there is a week over week growth in daily admissions.
Cuomo says that gyms and salons will now be allowed to stay open in orange zones. Capacity will be lowered from 33% to 25%, and staff will have to be tested weekly instead of bi-weekly.
The governor will be announcing which regions will be in these newly designated zones on Monday.
Cuomo also announced that hospitals must stay below 85% hospital capacity by adding additional beds or reducing elective surgeries.
“The ultimate cause for concern is overwhelming the hospitals," Cuomo said.
For the first time, the state also released contact tracing data.
According to the state’s data, household gatherings are responsible for 74% of the spread.
Gyms and hair salons are far down on the list. Gyms are responsible for only about 0.06% of the spread.
"Gyms are one of the lowest known spreaders now, by the facts," Cuomo says.
Cuomo says indoor dining will be closed starting Monday in New York City, due to the hospitalization rate. Outdoor dining and to-go orders will be allowed to continue. Outside of NYC, Cuomo says that the state will come to a decision early next week if indoor dining will be restricted for the rest of the state, from 50% capacity to 25%.
New York State will extend the commercial eviction moratorium.
The statewide positive COVID-19 infection rate is at 4.98%. The total number of hospitalizations is at 5,321, which is an increase of 157 New Yorkers from the day before. Eighty-seven New Yorkers passed away from COVID-19 yesterday.