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Gov. Hochul gives COVID-19 update

The Governor says 92% of hospital and nursing home workers are in compliance with the vaccine mandate.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul gave a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday from New York City and focused on vaccination rates and vaccine mandates before taking questions from media members.

The good news is the Governor says the daily infection rate is stabilizing. It is at 2.58%, but it's up over 4% here in the Western New York region.

Hochul also updated vaccination rates for hospital workers who were required to get at least one dose of the vaccine so far, and that number is at 92% as of Tuesday. 87% are fully vaccinated. Hochul says that number will go up as more people are furloughed or suspended for not getting vaccinated. 

Hochul also said 92% of nursing home employees are in compliance with the vaccine mandate. 

And when it comes to the economy, she was asked about a Broadway show having to cancel a show just one day after reopening because members of the cast and/or crew tested positive.

"The only answer is more people getting vaccinated, and people in shows being vaccinated, and people at concerts being vaccinated so they can feel confident when they're sitting in a seat for two or three hours finally enjoying an in-person performance that they'll be safe to do so," Hochul said.

When asked if she'd consider capacity restrictions if things get worse, she said she's keeping all of the options on the table and referred to what happened last year when numbers started going up in the fall and through the winter holidays. She said we should be in a better place now because we have the vaccine.

During Thursday's briefing, the Governor was asked how many people have been dismissed from their jobs since the mandate went into effect. 

"Those numbers are being kept by the individual institutions. They're not required to report them to us, but we can do what we can to just ask people for that information, but we don't have a hard number. We only know the state numbers which are, you know, several hundred I believe," Hochul said.

So here's what we've reported this week. The state reported a 92% vaccination rate for Western New York nursing homes matching that statewide number. 

And, the Elderwood group of homes says that while it lost some employees, they feel staffers understood getting vaccinated was in their best interest.

And right now, nearly 52% of 12 to 15-year-olds are fully vaccinated in the state. The Governor says she'd like to see the vaccination rate go up for 12 to 17-year-olds and encourages parents to get their kids vaccinated.

"Still not happy with our young people, and I'm not sure what other argument I can make to the parents of these 12 to 17-year-olds other than, what are you waiting for? Your kids need this," said Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The state plans on doing more pop-up clinics for this age group.

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