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Coronavirus Latest: 62% Surveyed Will Get Vaccinated; Hospitals Prepare For Spike In Cases

Seth Wenig

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak in the region:

Six out of 10 U.S. voters say they are willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a Quinnipiac University poll this week.

Health officials in New York and Connecticut anticipate the first batch of doses to arrive in the next few days. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says 26,500 doses will likely be sent to Long Island health professionals by this weekend. However, two-thirds of U.S. voters say they do not think their state should make vaccinations mandatory.

978 self-identified registered voters nationwide were surveyed in earlier this month.

The 7-day COVID-19 positive test rate in Connecticut is 6.6%, according to data provided by the state. However, the daily positive rate reached 8.6% in the state this week. Governor Ned Lamont says that’s the highest number since the beginning of broad-based testing in Connecticut.

On Long Island, the 7-day COVID-19 positive test rate is 5.7%. The rest of New York is at 5.13%. However, the daily positive rate exceeded 6% on Long Island this week for the first time since April, with over 2,000 new daily cases recorded for the second time this month.

Health officials in both states attribute the increase in new positive cases to gatherings over Thanksgiving weekend. They warn the holiday season could cause a worse spike in the New Year.

Federal data released this week shows coronavirus patients already occupy 16% hospital beds in Connecticut; nearly 10% in New York.

New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker has asked hospitals and nursing homes to outline how they will record and notify the state of COVID-19 hospitalizations and bed capacity, before they are overwhelmed. Regions would be shut down based on this data.

Nursing homes are also required to have a 60-day stockpile and hospitals a 90-day supply of personal protective equipment to prevent shortages like those that were experienced in the spring.