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'January surge' coming says Hochul during North Country tour

Governor Kathy Hochul addressed local officials from Clinton County, including Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest, left, and State Assemblyman Billy Jones, second from left. Photo: Ryan Finnerty/NCPR.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said New Yorkers should prepare for a “January surge” in COVID-19 cases.

Hochul made the remarks while visiting a pop-up vaccine clinic at Clinton County Community College in Plattsburgh on Wednesday.

Nearly 350 appointments to get a shot were booked for the site at Clinton County Community College, including pediatric doses for children under 12.

That same day, New York broke records for daily new COVID-19 cases, with almost 70,000 confirmed infections.

Hochul made stops across the North Country to check in with healthcare workers battling the current omicron spike in COVID-19 cases, including in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Clinton counties. The state announced 13 new testing sites across New York.

While speaking in Plattsburgh, Hochul said the effort is an attempt to prepare for a post-holiday surge in cases.

“We know it's coming and we're naive to think it won't,” Hochul said.

“We just had families travel all over the country and we do think there's going to be a spike in cases that's going to continue not just in our positive rates, but also in hospitalizations,” she added.

Statewide bed capacity in hospitals has been increased by 8% Hochul said, through the targeted use of National Guard personnel and other resources.

25 hospitals across the state have restricted elective surgery, according to the governor’s office.

On average, North Country hospitals have 25% of beds available. 10% or less is considered dangerous by state officials.