Nearly 60% of adults in New York have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, as the state's seven-day positivity rate dipped below 1.5% for the first time since late October, the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Saturday.
As of Saturday morning, 59.7% of New York adults had received at least one dose, and 47.8% were fully vaccinated, the governor's office said. More than a million doses were administered statewide in the past week.
When New Yorkers of all ages are counted, 48% have received at least one vaccine dose, and more than 38% are fully vaccinated.
Currently, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized only for adults, and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is limited to those 16 and older. But the federal government is expected to within the next few days allow children ages 12 to 15 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The statewide 1.47% seven-day positivity rate is the lowest since Oct. 28, the governor’s office said. Long Island’s seven-day rate again remained slightly below the state’s — at 1.38%. Earlier this year, the Island’s rate had been the highest, or one of the highest, of any region in the state.
The one-day statewide positivity rate for Friday increased to 1.29%, from 1.22% on Thursday. But public-health experts generally focus more on the seven-day rate because it smooths out anomalies.
The state’s COVID-19 positivity, hospitalization and death numbers have been steadily falling for weeks as more New Yorkers get vaccinated, although those totals remain well above last summer's.
Thirty-two New Yorkers died of COVID-19 on Friday, including three Suffolk County residents and one Nassau resident.
The number of coronavirus hospitalizations fell to 2,178, down 86 patients from Thursday. Less than four months ago, there were nearly 9,300 COVID-19 patients statewide, and in mid-April of last year, there were nearly 19,000.
"Even with this tremendous progress in our numbers, we still need everyone to continue practicing safe behaviors like wearing masks and social distancing to slow the spread," Cuomo said in a statement. "And most importantly, we need every single New Yorker to get vaccinated so we can defeat COVID once and for all and begin our return to a new normal."
There were 3,195 coronavirus test results that came back positive Friday, including 222 in Suffolk and 178 in Nassau.
New York City on Saturday launched an effort to vaccinate out-of-state visitors at tourist hot spots, city health department spokesman Michael Lanza said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced the plan to inoculate non-New York visitors at popular tourist destinations like Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Central Park, but he said the city needed state permission.
The state Health Department on Thursday quietly issued new guidance stating that anyone 16 and older who lives in the United States is eligible for a vaccination in New York. Previously, vaccinations in the state were limited to state residents.
Lanza on Saturday pointed to the new state directive when asked whether de Blasio’s proposal had been approved.
De Blasio said the city would use the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the mobile sites.
With Matthew Chayes