COVID IN NEW YORK: Over 85K people test positive at New Year's start

Over 85,000 people in New York tested positive for the coronavirus statewide on the last day of 2021, a more than 10 percent rise from the day before, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Saturday.

Hochul reported in a release that the positive COVID-19 test results reached 85,476 on Friday, along with 88 more deaths. The state's positivity rate now stands at 22.2 percent, with the seven-day average at nearly 20 percent. 

The total number of deaths in New York since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 61,242. The number of patients hospitalized rose to 8,451 on Friday, an increase of 532 from the day before.

New York City reported another single-day record, with 49.724 positive tests on Friday, making up the majority of the positive tests in the state. 

The deaths continue to occur even though the state reports that 89.2 percent of New Yorkers who are 18 and over have received at least one vaccine shot.

Hochul urged anyone who has not gotten a second or third vaccine shot to do so as soon as possible.

With the Associated Press.