New York state suffered 97 daily deaths from COVID-19, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday — marking the highest toll since late February during the pandemic’s previous winter wave.
Statewide hospitalizations also rose to around 6,700 on Tuesday, up from 6,173 a day earlier, and a staggering 67,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus, Hochul said during a news conference in Plattsburgh.
The new cases were up 64 percent from the day before, Hochul said, and smashed the record of nearly 50,000 set on Christmas Eve.
“We are preparing for a January surge,” she said.
Tuesday’s 97 deaths represent a 21 percent increase over the 77 recorded on Monday.
“That’s not the direction we want to go,” Hochul said.
“It’s heartbreaking to know there will be families who won’t see the end of the new year with a loved one.”
Tuesday’s toll was also the state’s highest in 24 hours since Feb. 23, when last winter’s wave of infections was waning.
That seasonal surge saw daily COVID-19 deaths top out at 202 on Jan. 13.
Hochul said the number of hospitalizations was “an area of concern” even though it’s “still less than we had this time last year.”
The governor also said that elective surgeries had been suspended in 25 hospitals and that there was an 8 percent increase in hospital capacity statewide, which she called “good news.”
Meanwhile, annual statistics released Wednesday by the city Department of Health showed that deaths in the Big Apple skyrocketed 51 percent, from 54,559 in 2019 to 82,143 in 2020, largely due to the ravages of COVID-19 when the city became the national epicenter of the pandemic’s first wave.
The total number of births declined 9.4 percent, from 110,442 to 100,022, during the same period, according to the data.