NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers to remain vigilant in the fight against the coronavirus, saying in a Christmas Day statement that the state finds itself in a "footrace" to distribute the vaccine amid rising cases.
The latest statistics showed the state's positivity rate falling slightly even as hospitalizations continued to rise.
The state on Friday announced 122 new deaths caused by COVID-19, bringing the state's official count to 29,270. But the governor sounded a note of cautious optimism on the 300th day of the pandemic.
"New York made it through Thanksgiving better than most places, so as we celebrate Christmas today it's critical we retain that momentum and remember that celebrating smart stops shutdowns," the Democrat said. "While the vaccine is now here, we are still months away from widespread vaccination and finally reaching that light at the end of the tunnel."
Cuomo also applauded the announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Thursday that the United States will require airline passengers from Britain to get a negative COVID-19 test before their flight.
Several other countries have implemented similar travel restrictions because of a new variant of the coronavirus spreading in Britain and elsewhere.
"I called for the federal government to reverse its policy and am glad to see that it has now done so," Cuomo said. "Testing people for COVID-19 before they get on planes is common sense."