New York reports 21,027 new COVID-19 cases in a single day, the highest the state has ever recorded

People wait in line at a mobile Covid-19 testing site on December 15, 2021 at Washington Square Park in New York City, New York.

New York state reported a record-breaking 21,027 positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
The total breaks the previous statewide record from January 14, 2021.
As cases skyrocket, lines for testing in New York City reportedly stretched around city blocks. 

New York reported a record-breaking 21,027 positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, according to state data. 

It’s the highest recorded number of daily new cases, breaking the record set on January 14, 2021, when 19,942 people tested positive for COVID-19. 

There were 263,536 tests conducted across New York on Thursday, and the state said it’s averaging a 5.73% positivity rate over the last seven days. 

“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,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement on Friday.

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

As cases spike across the state, testing sites around New York City have been plagued by long lines and wait times, CBS New York reported on Friday. Photos shared on social media show lines stretching around city blocks as people try to get tested.

A middle school teacher from Brooklyn told news outlet The City that she had to take the entire day off work and waited for three hours to get tested.


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced on Thursday that the administration would distribute 500,000 free, rapid at-home COVID-19 tests and 1 million KN95 masks.

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