Hochul: COVID cases at lowest since October as New York is getting over the hump

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced that COVID-19 cases statewide reached their lowest levels since Oct. 25 of last year and are down 97% since Jan. 7.
Hochul touted a drop in hospitalizations, saying overall trips to the hospital because of COVID have dropped 72% over the past month. With that trend continuing, right away the focus has shifted to what's next for kids in schools.
Hochul said there is not a "magic number" to hit when it comes to vaccinations. She says she wants to look at the infection rates to determine the best course of action. Last week, she spoke of providing test kits to school and that 5 million were being sent out for children to test after the return from winter break.
The data collected there will be used to plan ahead.
Hochul added that a rise she would like to see is people returning to work in their offices across the city. Many have been working from home, but Hochul stressed that people returning to office buildings will help jump-start the economy in New York City. She said that is vital to the state economy.
Dr. Rami Nakeshbandi tells News 12 this is hopeful news, but that New Yorkers shouldn't claim victory just yet.
"Given the fact the numbers are dropping significantly, I think it is an opportunity to ease some of the restrictions,” he said. “However, keeping vigilant, making sure that if somebody is sick stays home, or getting them tested as soon as possible."
If anymore COVID strains do turn up, Nakesbandi says virus strains tend to get weaker than the last.