The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations keep increasing across New York State.

Governor Kathy Hochul says the latest daily numbers show there were more than 5,550 residents in the hospital statewide on Sunday, the most since February.

79 Oneida County residents were hospitalized.

“This has not been a surprise to us, particularly since we started taking precautions, warning about the winter surge as early as early October, taking a major step with an Executive Order on November 26th we've gone the holiday of Thanksgiving, but also knowing full well that this could be a very vulnerable time given how quickly this mutation, Omicron, transmits,” said Hochul

Hochul says there will be a more accurate picture of the number of new coronavirus cases tomorrow because of reduced testing on Christmas.

In other COVID news, the governor says the Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Plus Pass are now available to all military veterans who received their vaccinations at a U.S. Department of Medical Affairs hospital and health care facility in New York.

"As we fight the winter surge, it's more important than ever that New Yorkers get vaccinated and have access to the Excelsior Pass," Hochul said. "From health care to housing, New Yorkers who served our country deserve care and respect when they return home. That's why I'm proud to announce hundreds of thousands of New York veterans will now be able to utilize the Excelsior Pass, so they can share proof of vaccination and be easily welcomed into businesses and venues across the state."

And Hochul says COVID testing kits are starting to arrive after she ordered 37 million of them.

They’re being sent to school statewide.

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