NEW YORK, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Total COVID-19 hospitalizations reached 8,561 on Thursday in New York State, up from 8,548 on Wednesday, tweeted Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday.
Meanwhile, of the 243,903 COVID-19 tests reported on Thursday in the state, 18,832 were positive, or 7.72 percent of the total, up from 7.39 percent one day earlier, said Cuomo, adding that the fatalities went down to 161 on Thursday, compared with 197 on Wednesday.
"Starting Monday, NYS will begin scheduling vaccinations for the next group of people (Phase 1B): People age 75+, Education workers, First responders (police, fire), Public transit workers and Public safety workers," said the governor in another tweet. "Sites will include pharmacies, doctors' offices, Javits Center & more."
"Without increased supply we expect it will take 14 weeks to vaccinate the Phase 1A and 1B groups. That would take us to April 16," he added.
On Thursday, New York State clarified that healthcare workers on the front lines should be the priority group, classified as "1A" in the distribution plan, to receive COVID-19 vaccination, according to an official statement.
Once those healthcare workers who want to accept a vaccine are afforded the opportunity, vaccinations go to the "1B" category which includes essential workers including police, firefighters and 75-plus-year-old New Yorkers who have the highest death rate from COVID-19, it said.
The 1B category includes approximately 3 million people statewide and the state will utilize a variety of non-governmental agencies to administer those vaccines including pharmacies, private doctor networks, and community groups serving underserved communities, it added.
As of Friday afternoon, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 39,155 coronavirus deaths in New York State, the worst in the country.