According to Governor Kathy Hochul, 21,027 New Yorkers have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, breaking the record set nearly one year ago on January 14, when the state reported 19,942 positive cases.
Just under half of the positive results were in the city, where lines were growing at testing stations, the Rockettes Christmas show was canceled for the season and some Broadway shows nixed performances because of outbreaks among cast members.
"The winter surge in COVID-19 cases is a reminder that the pandemic is not over yet and we must take extra care to keep ourselves and each other safe," Governor Hochul said in a statement. "The vaccine is still our best weapon to defeat the virus and ensure we are safe from serious illness. Get the shot if you haven't yet and the booster if you have, mask up, and wash your hands."
Statewide, New York averaged 13,257 positive tests per day over the seven-day period that ended Thursday. That is up 71% from two weeks ago.
The coronavirus has exploded in New York City over the last two weeks, driving a spike in cases that local health officials say is unlike anything else they've seen during the pandemic.
"Um, we've never seen this before in #NYC," Dr. Jay Varma, a professor at Cornell and Mayor Bill de Blasio's senior public health advisor, tweeted on Thursday, in regards to New York City's test positivity rate doubling in just three days last week.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has warned that omicron is in "full force," but said the city’s hospitals are "very strong and stable right now" and far better able to handle COVID-19 than when the pandemic began. Treatments have improved, and more than 70% of eligible city residents are fully vaccinated, he noted.
The rise in cases, believed to be being driven by the omicron variant, has forced the closure of multiple Broadway shows this week. "Hamilton," "Mrs. Doubtfire," and "Moulin Rouge" have all canceled shows for Friday at least.
The world of sports has not been left unscathed either, as the NFL announced Friday that it was rescheduling several games to early next week, due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
With the Associated Press.