New York State Reports 20K-Plus COVID-19 Cases, a Single-Day Record

New York State Reports 20K-Plus COVID-19 Cases, a Single-Day Record New York State Reports 20K-Plus COVID-19 Cases, a Single-Day Record

A sign reminds people that masks are required at an office building in New York City's Times Square. New York state's health department reported over 21,000 positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a single-day record. (Seth Wenig/AP)

By Solange Reyner | Friday, 17 December 2021 06:32 PM

New York state reported over 21,027 COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a single-day record, according to the state health department.

''The winter surge in COVID-19 cases is a reminder that the pandemic is not over yet and we must take extra care to keep ourselves and each other safe,'' New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a press release Friday.

''The vaccine is still our best weapon to defeat the virus and ensure we are safe from a serious illness. Get the shot if you haven't yet and the booster if you have, mask up and wash your hands.''

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday rejected calls for a new round of lockdowns, though, telling WNYC that ''this is not March of 2020.''

''We're one of the most highly vaccinated places in the United States of America,'' he added.

More than 90% of adults in New York City have received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine, and 71% have had two doses.

''The more we vaccinate, the more we can get through this,'' de Blasio said.

''The great danger here is shutdowns and restrictions,'' the mayor added, referring to curfews and stay-at-home orders issued in spring 2020. ''That would really destroy, in so many ways, people's livelihoods and it would, I think, after everything people have been through — it would be traumatizing.''

De Blasio on Thursday announced plans to battle the surge in cases of the omicron variant of the virus by handing out 1 million masks, expanding testing hours at the city's publicly run hospital and dispensing more at-home tests.

Hochul's statewide rule requires all public indoor spaced either implement a vaccine passport program or require masks.