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As new COVID cases seem to be decreasing in the region, Government Kathy Hochul wants to make sure we don’t see a winter surge like last year.


“WooE are parallel to where we were last year,” Hochul said during a briefing on Tuesday, referring to a graph showing the state’s COVID trend. “The low point you are seeing is really of late. It’s summer, fall and then all of a sudden that bump represents fall surge, winter surge and that’s what keeps me awake at night.”

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Her anxiety is prompting Hochul to continue with the vaccine. Right now, the plan is to expand the health worker vaccine mandate to include workers who work in certain facilities providing health care to people served by the Office of Mental Health and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Staff must show evidence of at least one dose of the vaccine by November 1.

The statewide seven-day positivity rate is 2.34% as compared to 2.65% a week ago.

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“I think we’re definitely heading into a very good place,” said Dr. David Battinelli, Northwell Health’s senior VP and chief medical officer.

Dr. Battinelli says it is difficult to predict whether the study will show a declining trend in terms of cases and hospitalizations or if this is the latest cycle of epidemic peak and decline.

I think it’s a combination of getting more people vaccinated with better behavior,” Dr. Battinelli said.

Both governors continue to hold Hochul hopeful, yet they remain concerned about vaccine hesitancy in the northern regions of the state, where positivity rates are high. He is also concerned that colder weather could drive another spike in cases.

Governor Hochul said, “I think that won’t happen, but we are moving towards that time of year where people are going indoors.”

Best practice right now, according to local doctors, is to continue wearing your mask, especially in large gatherings.