Today we reached a great milestone: Total hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in New York State fell to 996, dropping below 1,000 for the first time since March 18th. We did this by working as a statewide community and with a shared commitment to New Yorkers across the State. But we cannot stop now. Keep up the discipline and wear a mask, keep six feet apart, wash your hands with soap and stay New York Tough.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. Nationwide, coronavirus cases are up 30% compared to the beginning of June. There are 26 states seeing daily COVID cases increase over the past week. New York State is one of the exceptions — let's keep it that way. Read the travel advisory that is now in effect for people arriving to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from hotspot states.
2. The Nourish NY Initiative continues to provide New Yorkers in need with access to healthy food. To date, more than 1.9 million pounds of produce grown by New York farmers has been directed to homes across the state, including 372,000 pounds of apples, 163,000 pounds of cabbage and 240,000 pounds of potatoes.
3. New York State's new license plate design officially launched. The new plate features Niagara Falls, the Adirondack Mountains, the Statue of Liberty and the NYC skyline on a white and blue design with the state motto "Excelsior" at the bottom. The design was part of an online contest held last year and has been rolled out in twelve counties so far. See it here.
4. The Taste of Buffalo will be held virtually this year. The two-day festival, which will take place on July 11 and July 12, is shifting to an "at home" event, with cooking demonstrations, live music and the ability to order specials from participating restaurants via takeout, which can be picked up from individual locations.
5. A reminder that mental health resources are available. We recognize the impact of this crisis on mental health. Health care workers can text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to access 24/7 emotional support services. Any New Yorker can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling and resources.
6. Yesterday, the State tested 67,642 people. Of those tested, 749, or 1.1%, were positive. Sadly, there were 17 COVID fatalities yesterday.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": This week, Buffalo Public International School 45 held their drive-by graduation, but for crossing guard Gina Tomaselli-Hernandez, this occasion was particularly sentimental. Tomaselli-Hernandez became a crossing guard in 2010, when this year's graduating class was in Pre-K and this week bid the 111 eighth grade students that she has come to love as family a final farewell.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo