Hocul Focuses on Increasing Vaccinations and Wearing Masks on New Years to Beat COVID-19 | New York State

ALBANY-Gouv. Kathy Hochul on Friday outlined the state’s five-point plan for the expected winter outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

The updated plan 2.0 was developed because the virus is moving so rapidly, Hochul said. The number of New Yorkers with COVID-19 has increased dramatically over the past month.

“We have to be very smart; we have to use what we have learned over the past two years to deal with this pandemic,” Hochul said. “We have to be focused, specific and focused. We have done the right things, but 2.0 is just improvements over what we have done, and again, to sound the alarm that the numbers continue to rise “They don’t need to. We can control it. It’s within our grasp.”

The Winter Surge Plan 2.0 has five components: keeping students in schools; continue to wear masks and perform tests; prevent serious illness and death; continue to increase vaccines and boosters for adults and children; and continue to work collaboratively with local leaders.

The sharp increase in cases this winter after the holidays has been expected for months, Hochul said. The growing number of COVID-19 cases is seen not only in New York City, but nationally and globally. In addition, New York state is beating a record number of new cases every day, she added.

COVID-19 test kits are coming to schools to help keep students in class, Hochul said.

“We want to make sure we have enough supplies for one of their classmates to be positive,” Hochul said. “Anyone can take a test kit home in their backpack and come back the next day if they test negative, and get tested again in a few days. This is how we believe, listening to the experts, to be the safest way to keep children in school. “

Students at New York State Universities and New York City Universities will need to be vaccinated when eligible, and faculty will need to be vaccinated, Hochul said. Colleges will continue to be required to make a random selection.

Hochul extended the states masking and vaccination protocol for state-owned enterprises for an additional two weeks until February 1.

The state has distributed more than 5 million KN-95 masks to counties with more to come, Hochul said. She suggested that people who want to wear cloth masks instead wear the more effective masks, such as the KN-95, and wear a cloth face mask over them for added safety.

“Keep your mask fun, but make sure you wear it over a mask that gives you more protection,” Hochul said.

The state called on the federal government to provide more resources to the state, including more drugs, and called on the federal government to give the state the right to protect occupants of nursing homes, said Hochul.

“Here’s the problem,” Hochul said. “We do not have the capacity to require visitors to nursing homes to be vaccinated. We have always known that this is a vulnerable population. We know that many people are vaccinated in nursing homes. nursing home and made sure booster shots were available for nursing homes back in November. “

The state has asked the federal government to revise its regulations that do not allow the state to impose regulations on visitors to nursing homes, Hochul said.

“Visit your loved one,” Hochul said. “But also, don’t be the reason a loved one doesn’t survive because you brought the virus into the nursing home of him and his neighbors. Please be smart about it. that we can’t demand it right now, we’ve asked the federal government to give us the power. In the meantime, do it because it’s the right thing to do.

The vaccine and booster shots are the best ways to protect yourself from serious illness, said acting state health department commissioner Dr Mary Bassett. The FDA has granted emergency approval for two oral antiviral drugs, she said last week.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Bassett said. “And that will give us a way to keep people at risk of hospitalization and infected out of hospitals. But we need much larger quantities than what we have received. The supply is being distributed by the federal government and we have got our allocation of 3,180 doses, which are distributed statewide. ”

The drug is distributed based on the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as the county’s population, Bassett said.

The state Department of Health predicts the supply will increase, Bassett said.

The supply has been low due to production issues, she added, and there is not much in the national supply of the drugs.

The state is targeting vaccines and boosters to increase the number of adults and children vaccinated, Hochul said. Increasing the number of New Yorkers vaccinated is especially important for children, as childhood immunization rates tend to increase, but they remain low overall, she added.

Hochul encouraged parents to get their children immunized.

“This is the final message – 2022 is the year we conquered this pandemic,” Hochul said.

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