Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at a news briefing at Radio City...

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at a news briefing at Radio City Music Hall earlier this month. Credit: EPA-EFE / Shutterstock / Justin Lane

New York continued to advance in the battle against COVID-19, with fewer hospitalizations and ICU patients, and a falling positivity rate, state figures that were released Saturday showed.

The state had 1,361 people hospitalized Friday, 83 fewer than the previous day and the lowest number since Nov. 5, the state figures showed.

In addition, the number of people in ICUs decreased to 326, four fewer than the day before and the lowest level since Nov. 11.

"We are working night and day to stop COVID-19 in its tracks, and the key is getting as many New Yorkers vaccinated as possible — as quickly as possible," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.

The single-day state positivity rate of 0.80% was the lowest since Sept. 4. Of the 167,918 tests reported Friday, 1,347 came up positive, the state said.

Long Island's seven-day average positivity rate was even lower, at 0.79%, a drop from the rate of 0.89% on Wednesday.

The state suffered 24 COVID-related deaths, a far cry from the approximately 800 deaths a day that were occurring during the height of the pandemic in April of last year. Two Suffolk residents were among the 24 dead, the data showed.

Nassau saw 71 new cases for a total of 182,810, and Suffolk had 87 new cases for a total of 199,991, the figures showed.

"I’m proud of our residents for leading the way in New York State on getting the vaccine," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. "With 73% of adults having at least one shot and a positivity rate at a new low of .65%, we are fully on track for a fun and safe summer."

1 million Excelsior Passes issued

Cuomo also announced that more than 1 million Excelsior Passes have been issued since New York State launched the first-in-the-nation voluntary platform in March. Excelsior Pass — which is now being utilized by venues, universities, stadiums and businesses statewide — is a free way to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results.

Cuomo said that more than 1 million Excelsior Passes have...

Cuomo said that more than 1 million Excelsior Passes have been issued since the state launched the voluntary platform in March. Credit: NYS Governor's Office

The COVID-19 Vaccination Pass is available 15 days after the final dose of the vaccine has been administered. All Excelsior COVID-19 Vaccination Passes retrieved beginning Saturday will be valid for 365 days, up from 180 days. Those who already have a Vaccination Pass must retrieve a new pass to take advantage of this extension.

But not all people have been able to access the downloadable digital pass. Some are finding that they are not in the state database.

Jennifer Givner, a Cuomo spokesperson, said the "overwhelming majority of users have a seamless experience" accessing the pass, which can be printed out or downloaded to a smartphone app.

Givner said those who have trouble getting a pass should go back to the place where they were vaccinated and check their information. To get a pass, log on to epass.ny.gov.

Latest on vaccination effort

Cuomo also offered an update on the state's efforts to get people vaccinated. A total of 63% of adults in the state have received one dose, and 54% have completed the vaccine series, he said.

Elsewhere, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced that its public vaccination program will be extended through May 29 at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, the program's most popular sites.

The program has administered more than 10,000 vaccinations to date at locations throughout New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley since May 12.

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