Lifestyle Health New N.Y. Governor Hochul Adds 12,000 COVID Deaths to Toll for 'Transparency' After Cuomo Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo had not disclosed the additional deaths while he was in office By Julie Mazziotta Julie Mazziotta Twitter Julie Mazziotta is the Sports Editor at PEOPLE, covering everything from the NFL to tennis to Simone Biles and Tom Brady. She was previously an Associate Editor for the Health vertical for six years, and prior to joining PEOPLE worked at Health Magazine. When not covering professional athletes, Julie spends her time as a (very) amateur athlete, training for marathons, long bike trips and hikes. People Editorial Guidelines Published on August 26, 2021 01:41 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Kathy Hochul. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Newly sworn-in New York Gov. Kathy Hochul added 12,000 COVID-19 deaths to the state's count on Tuesday, saying that she wanted New Yorkers to have "transparency" after her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, had not disclosed the additional deaths. "The public deserves a clear, honest picture of what's happening. And that's whether it's good or bad, they need to know the truth. And that's how we restore confidence," Hochul said on NPR. The 12,000 newly reported deaths bring New York's COVID-19 death toll up to 55,423 as of Aug. 25. On Cuomo's last day in office, he said the number of deaths was just over 43,000. "We're now releasing more data than had been released before publicly so people know the nursing home deaths and the hospital deaths are consistent with what's being displayed by the CDC," Hochul said on Morning Joe on Wednesday. Under Cuomo, New York had only identified deaths "as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities," the new governor's website says. The additional data incorporates people who died "in any location," such as at home or in hospice care. "There's a lot of things that weren't happening, and I'm going to make them happen. Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration," Hochul said. "It's not hard to do. You just get the information out there." RELATED VIDEO: N.Y.C. To Require Proof Of Vaccination For Indoor Dining And Fitness In January, New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report summarizing her investigation into the state's nursing homes and their handling of the pandemic, which showed that nursing home deaths "may have been undercounted by as much as 50%." A month later, Cuomo acknowledged that his administration made a "mistake" in not properly reporting the deaths. Cuomo resigned earlier this month after a report from James alleged that he had sexually harassed 11 women and created a toxic work environment during his time in office. He has denied any wrongdoing, and stepped down after the state legislature threatened to begin impeachment proceedings. As of Aug. 26, New York is seeing an average of 4,401 new COVID-19 cases a day, according to The New York Times, an increase from June and July, but still lower than the average from before vaccines were widely available. Currently, 79% of New Yorkers over age 18 are fully vaccinated. As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.