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New York sees highest number of daily COVID deaths since vaccination drive began as 130 are killed by virus - but they're still far lower than the spring 2020 peak of 816, and hospitalizations remain flat too

  New York State and   New York City   saw some startling   COVID-19   numbers Thursday, with the most deaths in one day since vaccinations ...

 New York State and New York City saw some startling COVID-19 numbers Thursday, with the most deaths in one day since vaccinations begin, but both death and hospitalizations remain down from their 2020 peak.

According to state data, 130 New Yorkers died due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, with 62 alone coming from New York City. That's the most since mass vaccination started, but still well below the record 816 who died in one day during the first peak in April 2020.

As of Thursday, over 11,000 people are hospitalized, the highest number since the spring 2020 peak when the state was utilizing field hospitals.      

'Wearing a mask, washing your hands, getting your vaccine, your second dose, your booster - we are not defenseless and these are things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy,' Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement.

'As we make our way through the winter surge, it is important to keep the wellbeing of others in mind,' Hochul added. 'Be mindful of how your actions impact others so we can keep our communities open and thriving.'

The state has lost just over 49,000 people to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.  

The state also announced 84,202 new cases, just below the state's single-day record of 85,476 on New Year's Day. 

Led by the spread of the Omicron variant, the state's positivity rate on tests is at 22.3 percent.     

The CDC estimates that omicron, the first NY case of which was confirmed on Dec. 2, now accounts for upwards of 99 percent of current COVID-19 cases in the region 

New York City, with a positivity rate of nearly 33 percent, now accounts for over half of the hospitalizations across the state.

Hochul: NY is 'not in a good place' as winter COVID surge kicks in
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Hospital officials in the Big Apple still say that things are nowhere near as bad as they were at the dawn of the pandemic.

'We're not even halfway to what we were in April 2020,' Dr. David Battinelli, the physician-in-chief for Northwell Health, New York state's largest hospital system, told NBC4

Experts add that patients aren't as sick as they were getting earlier during the first surge. 

For example, while 666 patients are currently in ICU beds - the highest total since February 2021 - that's still five-fold less than where they were at in April of 2020.  

The WHO said Thursday that a record 9.5 million COVID-19 cases were tallied over the last week as the omicron variant of the coronavirus swept the planet, a 71 percent increase from the previous 7-day period that the U.N. health agency likened to a 'tsunami.' 

That said, the number of weekly recorded deaths declined. 

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