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New York reports 85,000 cases in a day, another record, as surge shows no sign of slowing.

todayJanuary 2, 2022

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New York State recorded over 85,000 new coronavirus cases on the last day of 2021, the highest one-day total in the state since the pandemic began, officials announced on Saturday.

The number of positive test results — 85,476, or roughly 22 percent of the total tests reported by the state — once again outstripped a record set just the day before. And New York’s turbocharged increase in cases shows no signs of slowing, with new infections from holiday travel and gatherings most likely not yet reflected in official counts.

“As we fight the winter surge, we need to keep the most vulnerable among us in mind — do what you can to keep others in your community safe from Covid-19,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement announcing the state’s latest totals. “Wear a mask, wash your hands and take advantage of the best tool we have at our disposal — the vaccine.”

New York is one of several hot spots — along with Washington, D.C., and other Eastern states — leading a national surge. On Thursday, a record 585,013 new cases were recorded nationwide, and hospitalizations are trending upward across much of the country.

In the previous 24 hours in New York State, nearly 90,000 vaccine doses had been administered, according to Governor Hochul’s statement. Eighty-eight deaths in the state were attributed to Covid. Nationally, there were 1,181 Covid deaths recorded on Friday, according to a New York Times database.

As recently as two weeks ago, a total of 21,000 positive tests in New York was enough to set an alarming record. The stunning recent increases in positivity rates, fueled at least in part by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, served as an unwelcome reminder that the pandemic was entering its third year.

Although it involved substantially fewer cases, the U.S. winter surge around the same time last year crested on Jan. 12, suggesting that the country may have a week or more before this current wave reaches its peak. According to some testing experts, however, Omicron’s incubation period may be as short as 72 hours, which could accelerate this wave’s progression.

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