Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Sunday, November 22, 2020

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Posted at 10:53 AM, Nov 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-22 15:02:40-05

NEW YORK — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New York. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

3 p.m.
Daily indicators for NYC

  • 121 patients admitted to the hospital
  • 1,394 new cases
  • The infection rate 7-day average is 3.09%*
  • *The city's seven-day average of coronavirus infection rate differs from the state's data, which can be found below.

11:30 a.m.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is holding a coronavirus briefing. Watch the news conference below or click here.
Daily indicators for NYS

  • Average microcluster positivity rate: 4.39%
  • Statewide positivity rate without microclusters: 2.29%
  • Statewide positivity rate with microclusters: 2.74%
  • Tests conducted on Saturday: 196,608
  • Deaths recorded on Saturday: 30
  • Total hospitalizations: 2,562
  • Total ICU patients: 502
  • Total intubations: 234

COVID-19 spread and the holiday season

  • This is a dangerous period because of the increased social activity between now and New Year's Eve, Cuomo said.
  • The governor said he expects coronavirus infections to continue to rise because of the increased social activity.
  • "The only question is how much and how fast, and nobody knows," Cuomo said. "It depends on how we act."
  • The state's microcluster approach to curbing the spread of the virus allows New Yorkers to decide what happens in their neighborhood.
  • Cuomo said there will be two points of increase: Dec. 1 through Dec. 10, experts say the state will see the results of Thanksgiving weekend. Jan. 2 through Jan. 10, experts say the state will see the results of increased social activity related to the entire holiday season.
  • "You'll know where you are Jan. 10 - Jan. 15," Cuomo said.
  • If the infection rate goes up, the governor warned that increased restrictions will slow the economy, hospitals will become overburden and more people will die.
  • Cuomo said he would not be shocked to see the infection rate spike to around 8%, 9% or 10% by the end of the holiday season.

Communities under warning of increased restrictions

  • On Staten Island, a large swath of which is currently a yellow zone, parts of the borough are on the verge of becoming an orange zone and other parts could move into a red zone. Read more.
  • "Staten Island is a serious problem," Cuomo said. "We're running into a hospital capacity issue on Staten Island."
  • Parts of upper Manhattan could become a yellow zone.
  • Cuomo said unless these communities drastically change, he expects these increased restrictions to happen in the coming week.

Microclusters and schools

  • In microclusters under a 3% infection rate, local officials have control over school operations.
  • If a microcluster goes above 3%, state officials take over control.
  • The posititvity rate in K-8 schools is lower than the surrounding community, Cuomo said.
  • "So we want to keep those schools open," the governor said, adding that high schools are a different story.
  • The governor's comment suggest that some elementary schools in New York City could reopen for part-time, in-person learning if the city hits a 3% positivity rate by the state's testing data, which would give Cuomo control over whether school buildings are open.

State data vs. local data

  • The state collects all the testing data and provides it to local governments.
  • However, some local governments change factors and report different numbers based on test timing and duplication removal.
  • For example: On Saturday, New York City reported a citywide seven-day infection rate of 3.11% but the state reported a citywide seven-day infection rate of 2.54%.
  • Cuomo called the different numbers confusing, but added that the state data is what matters since it will determine whether a microcluster becomes a yellow, orange or red zone with increased restrictions.
  • "Why confuse people if the New York City number is irrelevant?" Cuomo said.

Western New York

  • Landcaster has the highest positivity rate in the state at 9.17%.
  • Western New York has some of the highest positvity rates in the state.

10:45 a.m.
The Union Square Hospitality Group voluntarily closed indoor and outdoor dining at Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Café and Blue Smoke in Battery Park on Saturday as coronavirus cases continue to rise in New York City. Read more.

The latest official numbers:
As of Sunday, there were 596,214 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 26,357 confirmed fatalities in New York, according to the Department of Health.

COVID-19 timeline: How novel coronavirus spread

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

The New York state coronavirus hotline is 1-888-364-3065; information is also being posted here