New York could face another broad shutdown of businesses and public gatherings if the sharp increase in coronavirus cases does not stop, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday warned.
"If we do not change our trajectory, we will be headed to shutdown," Cuomo said. "Yes, we're trying to change the trajectory."
The warning was coupled with markedly better news in the day, as the first non-trial vaccine for coronavirus was adminstered to a critical care nurse in Queens.
But at the same time, New York and the rest of the country is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases as the year ends.
There are now 5,712 people hospitalized due to the virus, while 83 people were found to have died of COVID-19 in the last day.
The Finger Lakes region has the highest rate of hospitalizations in the state as a percentage of its population at 0.06%, Cuomo said.
Cuomo has warned of the capacity of hospitals in recent weeks and is tying the ability of a regional health care system to manage the load to new restrictions on businesses.
Already, the state is putting restrictions in place such as ending indoor dining in New York City and limiting capacity in restaurants elsewhere in the state starting today.
Cuomo warned New York could see as many as 11,000 additional hospitalizations and 3,500 more people die from the virus if the rise in COVID-19 cases does not slow.
At the height of the pandemic during the first spring surge, New York saw more than 18,000 people hospitalized.