122 New Yorkers die of COVID on Christmas as state struggles to contain holiday surge

Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News

Gov. Cuomo announced Saturday that 122 New Yorkers died of COVID-19 on Christmas Day, a warning sign to Big Apple residents to stay vigilant over the holidays.

New York officials reported 10,806 new cases and the positivity rate stood at a dangerous 5.36%, he said.

“The holiday season is a time to celebrate and reflect, but it brings the potential for increased spread if we let our guard down,” Cuomo said.

There were 6,884 New Yorkers hospitalized with COVID and 1,129 in intensive care, both slightly better figures than the previous day.

The nation is battling a ferocious second wave of the pandemic even as vaccines promise a light at the end of the tunnel of death and suffering.

The epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. appears to be in southern California where fast-rising cases have filled up hospitals, forcing strict new stay-at-home measures to try to keep a lid on the spread.

New York is still in better shape than most states as tight restrictions and better compliance with public health measures have kept the surge down.

Cuomo instituted new rules earlier this week requiring all travelers to present a negative COVID test if arriving from the U.K. where a new, more contagious strain of the virus is spreading.

So far the mutation has not yet been identified on this side of the pond, but public health experts say it is almost certainly already here.