KEY POINTS

  • The number of hospitalizations in New York also increased to 14,383
  • New York reported a record-breaking 38,835 new COVID-19 cases Thursday
  • Increasing COVID-19 cases have forced New York City to modify its plans for New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square

New York health officials have recorded more than 290,000 COVID-19 infections among the fully vaccinated since the beginning of the pandemic as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly across the state.

At least 291,880 breakthrough infections have been reported in New York State, representing 2.2% of all fully vaccinated residents aged 12 and older in the state, according to the latest COVID-19 Breakthrough Data published Monday.

The number of coronavirus hospitalizations among the fully vaccinated has also increased to 14,383, accounting for 0.11% of the population aged 12 and older. But despite the increase in breakthrough numbers, health experts still urge people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, noting that the shots effectively prevent severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths.

The report comes as New York recorded 38,835 COVID-19 infections among the unvaccinated and vaccinated Thursday. The numbers shattered a record of 28,924 cases reported Wednesday.

“We are experiencing the winter surge, and numbers are expected to rise. You can also expect to reduce your chance of severe illness from COVID-19 if you get vaccinated and if you get the booster,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement, as quoted by New York Post.

In the city of New York, cases have also begun to surge, with health officials reporting a record-breaking 22,808 new infections Thursday alone. Hospitalizations in the Big Apple have also increased by 82 from the day prior. There are now a total of 4,534 COVID-19 patients statewide, 837 of whom were admitted to an intensive care unit.

The surge of COVID-19 cases has now forced New York City to modify its plans for New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. The crowd will now be limited to just 15,000 fully vaccinated people. All attendees will also be required to wear a face mask during the event to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, according to NBC New York.

Visitors hoping to attend the New Year’s Eve celebration will not be allowed to enter Times Square until 3 p.m. Additionally, only people who can present proof of full vaccination with valid photo identification will be permitted to enter. Minors can enter the venue only if they are accompanied by a vaccinated adult.

Health authorities maintain vaccines are still the best protection against any variant
Health authorities maintain vaccines are still the best protection against any variant AFP / SEBASTIEN BOZON
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