Vaccinations are up and new COVID-19 infections down across the Empire State - key metrics for the state's leaders eager to push New York to a complete reopening in the coming months.
More than one out of every three New Yorkers has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday. That number has steadily increased with the rise in vaccine supply and opening of statewide eligibility to everyone 16 and older. As of Sunday, 34.9 percent of New Yorkers had completed their vaccine series.
The number of people to get at least one shot is creeping up on a milestone marker as well, with nearly half the state to get a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the governor's weekend numbers, some 46.5 percent of New Yorkers had received at least one dose.
The latter group is almost 9.3 million large, while the group fully vaccinated is made up of nearly 7 million New Yorkers.
"We cannot afford to get cocky, nor can we get lax in our vaccination efforts. Even as the spring season is in full swing and more people want to get outside and enjoy the warm weather, the footrace between the infection rate and the vaccination rate is still on," Cuomo said in his Sunday press release.
In New York City, nearly 4.3 million first doses have been distributed with a total of 3 million people completing their vaccination series, according to the city's vaccine tracker.
Any eligible New Yorker can now get vaccinated at any city-run site in any borough without having to make an appointment - a move eyed by New Jersey, whose governor said "stay tuned." NBC New York's Andrew Siff and Brian Thompson reports.
Mayor Bill de Blasio hit the halfway mark to his goal of fully vaccinating 5 million New York City residents by the end of June on Thursday, the same day New Yorkers of any eligible age got the walk-in option at all state-run mass vaccine sites.
The rise in vaccinations throughout New York has not stopped the spread of the virus, as the state is still millions of doses away from herd immunity. However, the state's COVID-19 positivity has seen a tick downward, even reaching a new 6-month low on Sunday.
According to the governor, the single-day positivity reported on Sunday dropped to 1.49 percent -- the lowest record rate since October 28. The rolling, or seven-day, average positivity rate was 1.84 percent -- the lowest since Nov. 6.
New York City's seven-day positivity rate was 2.86 percent on Sunday, de Blasio tweeted.
Hospitalizations in the state fell to 2,535, the fewest since Nov. 20 and down 33 percent over the past two weeks, Cuomo said. He also reported 33 new deaths, 24 of which were in New York City.
In nearby New Jersey, the state's vaccine dashboard reports more than 7 million doses administered across the Garden State. At least 4.2 million people have received one dose and 3 million have been fully vaccinated.