Zero New COVID Deaths in NYC, All-Time Low Positivity Rate as More Vaccine Prizes Debut

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the statewide rolling positivity rate dropped to a new low (0.65%), marking 57 straight days of decline

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What to Know

  • Both NYC and state are reporting their lowest positivity rates since that metric started to be reported last year; Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported zero new daily COVID deaths in NYC for the 1st time in months
  • More than 57% of New York adults are fully vaccinated to date, while nearly 55% of those in the city can say the same; vaccination rates have plateaued though in the last month and a half
  • Officials locally and nationally are introducing new incentive programs to encourage vaccination; NY's first college scholarship raffle draw for kids age 12 to 17 who got dosed is scheduled for Wednesday

The one-time epicenter of the pandemic recorded zero new daily COVID deaths for the first time in recent memory on Tuesday, the state said. It also notched a new record low positivity rate, New York City's mayor announced as he unveiled the latest slate of vaccine prizes, in addition to reopening senior centers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the 0.83% positivity rate for the five boroughs -- the lowest since the city first started reporting that metric more than 14 months ago -- a "crucial milestone" as he declared it another key piece of evidence that "New York City is coming back strong."

"This is a testament to the power of vaccination. This is a testament to the willpower of New Yorkers fighting through this crisis, doing the right things to keep each other safe, going out and getting vaccinated in huge numbers," de Blasio added. "Let's keep going. Let's drive COVID out of New York City once and for all."

The mayor also announced that, much to the joy of of those who utilize them, senior centers in the five boroughs can reopen immediately for outdoor activities. Indoor and congregant settings can reopen on June 14. De Blasio said that seniors "bore the brunt of the COVID crisis," and that it is now time to "move forward."

The mayor's exuberant announcement came the same day Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported a new statewide rolling positivity rate low of 0.65%, marking 57 straight days of decline. Hospitalizations held pat at 1,032, the lowest since Oct. 24.

Daily deaths have consistently been in the low double digits but fell to eight on Tuesday, the lowest single-day toll since Oct. 30, Cuomo said. Still, the ongoing daily fatality tolls are a grim reminder that the ramifications of the pandemic still aren't over for New York even as it surges forward in its recovery, Cuomo says -- and all the more reason to take advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated.

"The days ahead continue to look bright, but we need New Yorkers who haven't yet taken the vaccine to make an appointment or walk into a site to secure that future for all of us," the governor said in a statement Tuesday.

Starting Thursday, getting the COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey will get residents an entire summer at one of the state's most popular beaches --- free of charge. NBC New York's Gaby Acevedo reports.

To date, more than 57% of New York adults are fully vaccinated, while nearly 55% of New York City residents age 18 and up can say the same. Vaccination rates have plateaued over the last month and a half at the local and national levels, prompting officials at various points of government to introduce incentives to get shots.

De Blasio is holding weekly vaccine contests for newly dosed New Yorkers to intrigue the less motivated. This week's prize, he announced Tuesday, includes 20 two-day staycation packages at the Marriott, Hyatt, Highgate Hotels, Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, Triumph Hotels, IGH Hotels & Resorts and the Pod Hotels.

On Thursday, he plans to announce the winners of two past weekly New York City vaccine contests. One includes a free year membership to Crunch Fitness. The other offers three-day passes to the upcoming Governors Ball.

De Blasio plans to offer weekly vaccine contests through at least early July. They're open to anyone age 18 and older who gets vaccinated at any city-run site during that time. People can opt-in to enter at their first dose appointments.

Check out the city's full list of current vaccine prizes here.

At the state level, the most lucrative incentive program rolled out by Cuomo so far is 50 full scholarships to any SUNY or CUNY university for 12- to 17-year-olds who get dosed by July 7. The first weekly drawing in that raffle is set for Wednesday.

Cuomo also extended the state's "Vax and Scratch" lotto through this week. People who get vaccinated at select state-run sites between Monday, May 31 and Friday, June 4 win a free $20 scratch-off ticket with prizes worth up to $5 million. You've got a one in nine chance of winning some prize between that mammoth amount and $20 -- odds that Cuomo describes as a no-lose situation.

Get your COVID shot, get a scholarship. John Chandler explains.

Participating sites (see details below) are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day of the program. Here's the prize payout for the scratch-off game:

  • 1st: $5 million
  • 2nd: $50,000
  • 3rd: $20,000
  • 4th: $5,000
  • 5th: $2,000
  • 6th: $500
  • 7th: $400
  • 8th: $200
  • 9th: $100
  • 10th: $50
  • 11th: $40
  • 12th: $30
  • 13th" $20

Daily Percentage of Positive Tests by New York Region

Gov. Andrew Cuomo breaks the state into 10 regions for testing purposes and tracks positivity rates to identify potential hotspots. Here's the latest tracking data by region and for the five boroughs. For the latest county-level results statewide, click here


These are the 10 new sites that are taking part in the program this week. They are open to walk-ins as well as people who schedule appointments.

Aqueduct Racetrack
Racing Hall
110-00 Rockaway Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420

Crossgates Mall
Former Lord & Taylor - Lower Level
1 Crossgates Mall Rd.
Albany, NY 12203

Javits Center
429 11th Avenue
New York, NY 10018

Niagara Falls Conference and Events Center
101 Old Falls St.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Plattsburgh International Airport
Connecticut Building
213 Connecticut Road
Plattsburgh, NY 12903

Rockland Community College Fieldhouse
145 College Road
Suffern, NY

State Fair Expo Center
NYS Fairgrounds
581 State Fair Blvd
Syracuse, NY 13209

SUNY Binghamton
10 Gannett Drive
Johnson City, NY 13790

SUNY Old Westbury
Clark Center, Gate C
Store Hill Road and Cherry Road
Old Westbury, NY 11568

Westchester County Center
198 Central Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606

While vaccination rates have lagged across the board as of late, neither the city nor state has seen any uptick in viral spread since lifting mandatory indoor face mask rules for fully vaccinated people nearly two weeks ago. It's been more than a month since Cuomo adopted CDC recommendations on outdoor masking for that group.

Officials credit vaccinations and ongoing precautions with helping to drive down COVID-19 rates even further. All state- and city-run vaccine sites in New York are now open to anyone on a walk-in basis, though kids age 12 to 17 must go to locations that offer the Pfizer regimen. So far, that's the only one federally approved for emergency use for those ages. Use our map to find a nearby site below.

Not sure how the process works? Check out our handy tri-state vaccine site finder and FAQs here

New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers

Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Data: City of New York, State of New Jersey • Nina Lin / NBC

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