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Vaccines in hand, Cuomo urges push at NY nursing homes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Mike Groll via AP

ALBANY (AP) — New York expects to have received 930,000 coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of next week, a supply that should be used in an inoculation push at nursing homes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday.

Cuomo told reporters he’s asking healthcare providers to work through the holidays in hopes of vaccinating all nursing home residents and staffers. He said about 50,000 people have received doses so far.

“I understand it’s been a long year and everybody needs time off,” Cuomo said. “But we are in a foot race.”

He added: “A vaccine is the best gift you could give a nursing home resident.”

Nationally and in New York, deaths are on the rise: COVID-19 has killed about 320,000 Americans and counting. Cuomo said New York recorded another 139 deaths Monday.

More than 2,200 people with COVID-19 have died in hospitals and nursing homes in New York since Thanksgiving. There had been about 1,900 deaths reported from June through October.

Still, New York is among the vast majority of states that have seen falling or flattening COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the past week, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Hospitals in New York are now caring for 6,661 COVID-19 patients, according to the latest numbers — up 34% from 14 days ago, compared to 9% from seven days ago.

The governor said he’s hopeful that hospitalizations are leveling off, with an average of 750 patients were hospitalized each day over the past week. But he also urged New Yorkers to avoid gatherings for Christmas and New Year’s.

“Celebrate smart,” the Democrat said. “Stop shutdowns.”

In New York, an average of 10,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 each day over the past week. That’s virtually flat from a week ago but still 8% from two weeks ago.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.

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